Caring Science is a philosophy developed by Dr. Jean Watson with foundations in her “Human Caring Theory.” This approach teaches nurses to work in unison with their environment and patients.

As a comprehensive healthcare philosophy, it incorporates ideas from several disciplines and seeks to optimize the whole experience of patient care — for nurses and patients alike. Advanced nursing degree programs that prepare healthcare professionals with the foundational knowledge of the caring sciences ensure that nurses in the field can best help patients.

History of Caring Science and Nursing Educators

Caring Science is a practice that has been around since the mid-1970s. It takes on the philosophical and ethical teachings of Eastern medicine.

According to an article by Watson Caring Science, “Caring Science embraces the whole person, the unity of mind-body-spirit as one in relation with the environment at all levels. Caring Science invites discovery and honoring of all the vicissitudes of humanity; honoring metaphysical phenomena such as Spirit, Sacred, Love, Consciousness, and Caring.”

Caring Science embraces all aspects of life and incorporates methods that encourage optimal physical and mental health. This is because health is not a singular phenomenon. Instead, it includes many elements under one umbrella term.

To accomplish this, Watson’s Caring Science notes that practices of human caring are geared toward “subjective inner healing processes and the life world of the experiencing person.” This requires specific healing arts and a framework called “carative factors,” which complement conventional medicine — but stand in contrast to “curative factors.”

This allows nurses to care for themselves, while simultaneously caring for their patients. Patients and nurses care for each other by helping one another throughout the process. Caring Science originates in transpersonal relationships that impact the lives of all involved.

Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, California, is just one institution that has welcomed Caring Science into the fold. The hospital’s stance is that “Caring Science helps us to embrace the positive energy that flows from an integrated mind, body and spirit that is mutually rewarding to both the patient and the nurse. […] By actively engaging in caring through authentic presence and intentionality, the nurse is able to optimize her patient’s ability to heal from within.”

Impact on Physical and Mental Health

Transpersonal relationships advocate for an individual’s physical and mental health, making it possible to be in tune with their body and its physical and psychological health. Both are important for optimal human functioning.

Physical health impacts mental health because when the body is functioning properly and getting the care it needs, the brain recognizes this and regulates itself towards calm. However, if something is physically wrong, it causes the brain to feel stressed and anxious.

If you do not have your physical health in check, your mental health suffers. Everything is connected. Caring Science ensures the body and mind are in harmony.

Caring Science is loving compassion that transforms the boundaries of the physical world. As a result, it can step into the spiritual realm in order to better care for those in need of the highest form of love. In this way, nurses can regulate their own physical and mental capacities by caring for their patients with the act of compassion.

Transform Your Patient Care With a BSN Degree

One way to better practice Caring Science is to further your career in nursing by earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Those who enroll in the RN to BSN online program at Nevada State College will learn to support patients, families, communities, and societies through caring-healing practice.

This program allows students to be more mindful and authentic in their practice. The Theory of Caring Science course covers the foundation of Caring Science in practice and will enable students to self-reflect and explore their nursing abilities. Nurses learn to look out for each other in the Caring in Nursing Communities course. Instruction involves implementing health assessments for nursing staff to preserve and promote individual physical and mental health.

With the accelerated pace of the program, graduates will develop specialized patient care skills in as few as 12 months. They will learn to be collaborative leaders and emerge as more confident nursing professionals in the workplace.

Learn more about Nevada State College’s online RN to BSN program.