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Watson Caring Science Center

About Us

The Center serves as an international and inter-professional resource and clearing house for information related to human caring and the practice of human caring and healing. It promotes opportunities for collaboration for global engagement through International Caring Consortiums and assists in the spread and integration of human caring science world-wide.

Beyond traditional nursing fields, the Center will involve many disciplines represented at the Anschutz Medical Center, CU Denver campus, and CU Boulder campus including but not limited to: other health professions, social science, and humanities.



The Watson Caring Science Center is an Interdisciplinary Center for nurses and health professionals around the world, generating new and cutting edge, new forms of scholarship and clinical practice knowledge in the growing field of Caring Science. This new center will build upon the global history and legacy of the College of Nursing (CON) and the original Center for Human Caring with its early programs integrating philosophy, arts and humanities with clinical science for practice of human caring, healing, and health for the betterment of humankind.

The Watson Caring Science Center (WCSC) will build healthier and more harmonious workplaces by assisting health care professionals and community members to acquire education, skills and resources necessary to create healthy and healing environments. It will also provide research and metrics to substantiate the quality outcomes and impact on healthcare when integrating Caring Science into healthcare settings.


At the Watson Caring Science Center, our mission is to advance the art and science of human caring knowledge, ethics, and clinical practice in the fields of nursing and health sciences.

Goals and Objectives

The Center’s primary goal is to foster the research, teaching, and practice of human caring by drawing upon the underutilized connections between nursing science caring theory and knowledge of the humanities. The Center also seeks to apply the rapidly growing scientific knowledge base, which integrates human caring and health, to clinical practice.

Sub-goals include:

  • foster research, education, practice partnerships, and global community engagement to sustain and deepen caring knowledge and human caring practices worldwide.
  • provide a foundation for education, research and practice grounded in human caring and a holistic worldview that guides intentional change processes.
  • promote human-centered, mindful, caring, creative, reflective and resilient environments that support healthy living, healing, and life itself.
  • scientifically shift healthcare and humanity toward inner healing, human caring, mental health, self-caring, self-control, and self-healing approaches, addressing individual and collective human suffering.

Hundreds of hospitals and health care systems around the world have adopted models of Caring Science and Human Caring theory to make the lives of patients, staff and nurses more meaningful and to develop research data to demonstrate the relationship between human caring and patient outcomes.

Caring Science is a philosophical and moral/ethical foundation for professional nursing and part of the central focus for nursing at the disciplinary level. It is a model that embraces and intersects with art, science, humanities, spirituality, and new dimensions of mind-body-spirit medicine and nursing, evolving openly as central to human phenomena of nursing practice. It embraces relationships and a perspective of unity and connectedness.

As a nucleus for Caring Science, the Center facilitates the integration of knowledge from the humanities, the arts, cross-cultural spiritual disciplines, feminist theory, nursing and emerging scientific disciplines such as psychoneuroimmunology and energy medicine into health care research.

More specifically, the Center

  • Fosters innovative and on going Caring Science research in the inter-professional Caring Science track in the CU CON PhD and Postdoctoral Programs;
  • Assesses and measures authentic caring and staff-patient outcomes using the International Caritas Comparative Database (IWCCD); and
  • Collaborates with health system affiliates to identify and establish Whole System Caring Criteria & Indicators.

The Center will a) continue research collaborations with the American Nurses Credentialing Center to establish research-based criteria to award designations of Caring Science Centers and b) collaborate and assist research in other areas as well, for example supporting current initiatives to reduce stress and violence between prison inmates and prison guards using Caring Science interventions.

At the heart of Caring Science are the Ten Caritas Processes™, which contribute to healing, wholeness and human evolution. Caritas is a Latin verb meaning to cherish, to provide charity, to acknowledge its frailty and deep ethic of caring, making a connection between caring and love.

What are the Ten Caritas Processes™?

  1. Embrace altruistic values and Practice loving kindness with self and others.
  2. Instill faith and hope and honor others.
  3. Be sensitive to self and others by nurturing individual beliefs and practices.
  4. Develop helping, trusting, caring relationships.
  5. Promote and accept positive and negative feelings as you authentically listen to another’s story.
  6. Use creative scientific problem-solving methods for caring decision making.
  7. Share teaching and learning that addresses the individual needs and comprehension styles.
  8. Create a healing environment for the physical and spiritual self which respects human dignity.
  9. Assist with basic physical, emotional and spiritual human needs.
  10. Open to mystery and allow miracles to enter.

The Center provides an educational platform for interdisciplinary learning and scholarship, by:

  • providing the Caring Science Track​ of the CU College of Nursing PhD Program
  • hosting the Caritas Coach Education Program (CCEP)​
  • developing and sponsoring continuing education programs, such as the emerging integration of Caring Science and HeartMath for organizational resiliency
  • partnering with other schools and/or individuals to sponsor programs that support the creation of healing environments, such as the Institute of Hermeneutic Phenomenology and the University of Colorado Department of Philosophy and Center for Bioethics and Humanities.