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PhD Focus in Caring Science


​The PhD focus in Caring Science is designed to prepare health care professionals to strengthen and expand the intellectual, reflective, philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of Caring Science. Building on the work of Jean Watson, PhD, RN, FAAN, students will investigate the relationships between nursing science caring theory, knowledge of the humanities and health care outcomes.​ 

The program calls for students seeking to transform themselves and health care systems; to integrate and restore caring-healing into their lives and professions; and to provide a deeper meaning, purpose, dignity and wholeness to health care providers, patients, institutions, and societies.

For full CU College of Nursing PhD program requirements, please visit the PhD program page​.

Global Objectives of the PhD focus in Caring Science:

  • transform the model of Western medical science to a model of unitary caring science
  • reintroduce the ethic, energy and science of caring and love (Caritas) necessary for healing
  • improve quality outcomes; strengthen authentic caring-healing relationships between care team members and patients
  • restore caring, love and compassion as the ethical framework for health care and all our relationships
  • translate model of Caring Science into transdisciplinary​ service in the world
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Introduction to Caring Science

Focus on the evolution of Caring Science research in nursing and other disciplines, examining and critiquing the multiple theories of caring.

Developing Caring Science Questions

Focus on the latest development and analysis of Caring Science research and its evolution. Methods/methodologies related to students' research questions are examined.

Caring Science State of the Science

Examine and critique philosophies and theories of human caring, its nursing and interdisciplinary evolution and theoretical-scholarship in Caring Science.

​​Diverse Theories of Care

Explore Caring Science and unitary views of consciousness in relation to universal human experiences and variations of existence.

Transdisciplinary Care

​Examine diverse concepts of caring and the integration within a transdisciplinary matrix of nursing science and related​ fields of health science and education.​

Expanding upon the revolutionary work of CU College of Nursing Dean Emerita Jean Watson, the current CU faculty is determined to educate doctorate-level health care professionals in the Caring Sciences.​​​​​​​

Sara Horton-Deutch, PhD, PMHCNS, RN, FAAN, ANEF
Watson Caring Science Endowed Chair​​​​​​​
A​s the Watson Caring Science Endowed Chair, Sara Horton-Deutsch continues to advance Jean Watson's work in Caring Science, which has provided a meaningful philosophical foundation to nursing as a distinct discipline and profession, and has resulted in transformative 21st century models of professional nursing education, research, practice administration and delivery of person-centered health care.​​​​​​​

Paula Meek, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, Senior Faculty Scholar, PhD Program Director​​​​​​​

Kathy Oman, PhD, RN, FAEN, FAAN
Associate Professor​​​​​​​

Karen Sousa, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor​​​​​​​

Sara Horton-Deutsch, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF
Director, Watson Caring Science Center
Sara.Horton-Deutsch@ucdenver.edu​​​