Jean Watson: Nursing Theorist and Impact on Care Quality - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1198 Words
Date:  2023-01-27


Jean Watson is a nursing professor and theorist from the United States of America and whose work has significantly influenced the nursing practice. Research on caring by Jean Watson has been incorporated into patient care and education in many universities, research institutes and other health care facilities. (Watson & Woodward, 2010). As a theorist, she has helped the nursing field in many ways, especially on how to improve the quality of patient care. The paper focuses on describing the five patterns of knowledge and how they can be used in nursing care. Also, the paper summarizes the main concepts of Jean Watson's theory of human caring as well as the ten carative factors.

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Nursing is usually referred to as caring and has embraced human caring by Jean Watson in various ways. The human caring theory help individuals to use their positive energy on patients, thus creating an enabling and healing environment from the mind, spirit and body. (Watson & Woodward, 2010). According to the theory, nurses are usually strategically placed to be the heart of healing. Moreover, the theory outlines that the function of nurses is caring to patients through positioning the patients in ways that encourage self-healing. Caring enhances the regeneration of energies and abilities of nurses, which lead to immeasurable benefits as well as promoting personal and professional expertise. The theory of human caring by Jean Watson outlines that nursing care should provide benefits to both patient and nurse as well as the rest of healthcare professionals (Watson, 1997). Important to note is the fact that the theory specifies that human beings should not be treated in uncouth ways and should also not be separated from self, nature, as well as the broader healthcare workforce.

The five patterns of knowledge in nursing practice include empirical expertise, personal knowing, esthetic knowledge, ethical knowledge and personal knowing (Watson, 1997). According to Watson (1997), empirical evidence as a pattern of knowledge focuses on observation and information that is received through senses. Empirical evidence verifies the truth and includes factual and proven information from external sources such as peer-reviewed journals and science that can be verified using practical means. Esthetic knowledge involves being knowledgeable about the immediate situations such as patient awareness and their circumstances as unique individuals. Personal knowing means attitudes and feelings that a nurse gets from the interactions with her or his patients, especially empathy and imagination, and understanding of the challenges and pain that a specific patient is going through. Ethical knowledge is the ability of a nurse to care for his patients by applying set moral standards such as non-disclosure of a patient's data.Therefore, the patterns of knowledge are used in nursing practice to educate nurses on how to improve their expertise and provide quality care to their patients. Also, the models of knowledge are used to enhance nursing care by emphasizing on an ethical commitment to safeguarding the dignity of human beings (Watson, & Woodward, 2010). The patterns of knowledge are also used in nursing care by encouraging heart-centred experiences with other people. The five patterns of knowledge in nursing also emphasis on inspiring patients and understanding their needs through maintaining a balance and inner harmony.

Personal knowing is more evident and easy to apply in the human caring theory. The pattern emphasizes the need for caregivers to nurse their patients with love and kindness as their family members. For instance, nurses should put themselves in the shoes of their patients and care for them as they would wish to be cared for. Nurses should care for their patients in ways that enhance inner harmony as well as caring for them in considerate and reliable ways. Besides, empirical evidence and ethical knowing are also evident patterns of knowledge and is easy to follow (Watson & Woodward, 2010). For instance, nurses should create an enabling environment and positive attitude while caring for their patients. For instance, encouraging them to eat and take medication to help in healing. Also, the patterns of knowledge encourage nurses to conduct themselves in an ethical manner, such as maintaining the confidentiality of a patient's information. Also, the patterns of knowledge encourage nurses to interact with the family members of a patient and advice them on how to care while at home and to provide them with solutions that are empirical and factual. Therefore, the patterns of knowledge according to the theory of human caring provide essential guidelines and knowledge to nurses while in their nursing practice.

Empirical knowledge focuses on science, while esthetic knowledge focuses on art. Ethical knowing explains the right actions for patients such as administering medicines in the right prescriptions and at the correct times (Watson, 1997). Empirical evidence promotes trust between a nurse and patient since the method used has been scientifically proven to work appropriately. According to the human care theory by Watson, personal knowing involves the relationships between nurses and patients. Nurses are educated on how to enhance trustworthy and honest relationships with their patients. For instance, patients should feel safe while they are being cared for by their nurses. The five patterns of knowing provide a tool for generating learning experiences as well as a broader self-integration of classroom education.

The ten carative factors include creating a healing environment where dignity, beauty, peace and beauty are enhanced. Also, inspiring faith and hope as well as honouring people, nurturing, helping to trust and to establish caring relationships (Watson, & Woodward, 2010). Moreover, forgiveness is among the ten carative factors and emphasizes accepting feelings as well as listening to the stories by other people. Other carative factors include an allowance for existential and phenomenological forces (Watson, & Woodward, 2010). The human caring theory emphasizes on deepening scientific methods of solving challenges and decision making. Another carative factor in the theory is the provision for a physical, mental, protective, corrective, and spiritual atmosphere. Other factors include offering help with gratitude as well as cultivation of sensitivity to an individual.

I can use the human caring theory in my nursing practice in various ways, such as showing empathy to my patients. Also, I can use knowledge from the patterns of knowing and human caring theory to enhance the quality of care by instilling faith and hope to the patients as well as developing a helping and human caring relationship. For instance, in a practice scenario of caring for HIV patients, the human caring theory provides guidelines on how to show patient care. Also, the theory will assist me in enhancing the management of feelings as well as promoting transpersonal teaching and learning.


Watson, J. (1997). The theory of human caring: Retrospective and prospective. Nursing science quarterly, 10(1), 49-52. Retrieved from

Watson, J., & Woodward, T. K. (2010). Jean Watson's theory of human caring. Nursing theories and nursing practice, 3, 351-369. Retrieved from

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Jean Watson: Nursing Theorist and Impact on Care Quality - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 27). Retrieved from

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