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Jean Watson is an American nurse theorist and nursing professor who is best known for her Theory of Human Caring. She is the author of numerous texts, including Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring. Watson's research on caring has been incorporated into education and patient care at hundreds of nursing schools and healthcare facilities across the world.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Watson was born on July 21, 1940 in Williamson, West Virginia.


Jean Watson graduated from the Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1961. She continued her nursing studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, earning a B.S. in 1964, an M.S. in psychiatric and mental health nursing in 1966, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology and counseling in 1973. She has been awarded nine honorary doctoral degrees in six countries.[2]

Transpersonal Caring TheoryEdit

Watson developed the Theory of Human Caring. She founded the non-profit Watson Caring Science Institute in 2008.

Academic appointmentsEdit

Watson is a Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the University of Colorado,[3] where she formerly served as Dean of Nursing.

Leadership achievementsEdit

She is a past president of the National League for Nursing.

Honors and awardsEdit

  • 1999: Norman Cousins Award, Fetzer Institute


Watson, Jean (2003). Inside Stories: Tales of Change and Growth, Lion UK.
Bevis, Em Olivia (2000). Toward a Caring Curriculum: A New Pedagogy for Nursing, Jones and Bartlett.
Watson, Jean (1979). Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring, Little, Brown and Co..

See alsoEdit



  1. Global Caring Connections. CU College of Nursing. URL accessed on June 22, 2012.
  2. Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN. Watson Caring Science Institute. URL accessed on June 22, 2012.
  3. 14th International IONS Conference. Institute of Noetic Sciences. URL accessed on June 22, 2012.

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