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Watson Caring Science Integration

Watson's Caring Science theory guides Stanford Health Care (SHC) nursing practice as a discipline and profession. A deeper infusion of the theory and core concepts, such as the Ten Caritas Processes®, leads to greater adoption and spread across administrative, operational, and clinical areas. Since 2013, SHC has strategically integrated Watson Caring Science theory into the organization’s education, leadership, practice, and research/inquiry initiatives. Watson Caring Science nursing philosophy and ethics are present in the organizational mission statement and an organizational interprofessional approach was adopted to create and sustain a culture of caring.

The SHC Center for Education and Professional Development (CEPD) leadership works closely with Dale Beatty, D.N.P., RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Executive, and senior nursing leaders to review the organization's operational plan and identify strategic priorities for nursing and patient care service departments, aligning initiatives and tactics for implementation. The SHC Nursing and Patient Care Service Strategic Plan is a three-year dynamic document and on an annual basis, it is reviewed to identify new initiatives and tactics in alignment with the three major strategic plan priorities: Priority One: Our People (Employee Engagement), Priority Two: Our Customer (Patient Experience), and Priority Three: Our Care (Operational Optimization and Value). The strategic plan priorities and initiatives trickle down to all nursing and patient care services departments, including our Center for Education and Professional Development.


SHC is recognized as a National Watson Caring Science Affiliate Hospital for exemplary leadership commitment and system-wide incorporation of Caring Science practices. Under the leadership of Grissel Hernandez, Executive Director, the Center for Education and Professional Development has organizational oversight over numerous initiatives and activities that have defined the SHC Watson Caring Science integration strategy over time through four key domains:

In June 2022, Dr. Jean Watson designated five of nineteen current Affiliates as Distinguished Watson Caring Science Affiliates, including Stanford Health Care. We received this designation for our "extensive proliferation of Caring Science broadly through Stanford Health, aligning institutional mission, goals, and values with Watson's Caring Science. Creation of new system-wide, intellectual, and aesthetic Caritas educational programs, including a new interdisciplinary staff-wide curriculum for Caritas Nurse© and Caritas Partner©, promoting a Caritas Consciousness culture. Sponsor of International Caritas Consortium" (official email communication from Watson Caring Science Institute).


FY22 Nursing and PCS Strategic Plan

The FY22 Nursing and PCS Strategic Plan include Caring Science integration under Priority 2: Our Customer-Patient and Family Experience: Empathy and Compassion-Through integrating Caring Science into our delivery of care, nursing education, competencies, and recognition. The CEPD identified various tactics to continue our intentional Watson Caring Science Integration.

Nursing and PCS Strategic Plan

Tactics & Implementation


1. Standardization and deployment of an SHC Caritas Coach Development Pathway.

As part of the education domain, we developed a Caring Science professional development pathway to introduce Watson Caring Science as the theoretical foundation of our profession and share it beyond nursing to include all employees from the bedside to the board room.


Our pathway has three key levels of development that build on each other as staff learn and integrate the core concepts of Watson Caring Science

  1. Caritas Nurse/Caritas Partner Humanistic Care Certificate Program

  2. WCSI Caritas Coach Education Program

  3. Ongoing Caring Science Professional Development, Support, and Recognition

SHC Caring Science Professional Development Pathway

2. Provide sponsorship to employees to complete Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) Caritas Coach Education Program (CCEP) with two participants per year.

3.  Expand the participation of the WCSI Caritas Coach Education Program to all disciplines.

Using the SHC Caritas Coach Development Pathway, we now have a systematic way to identify staff interested in continuing to advance their professional development in Caring Science at all levels of the organization. Our Caritas Humanistic Care Certificate Program, an interprofessional course serves as an incubator to grow and support potential candidates for the Watson Caring Science Institute Caritas Coach Education Program (CEPD).  In addition, we continue to identify individuals within the organization that express a personal desire to enhance their Watson Caring Science abilities, skills, and knowledge.  We are committed to financially supporting at least the participants at all levels per year.


4.  Develop, implement, and evaluate a Caritas Nurse/Caritas Partner Humanistic Care Certificate Program to serve as an interprofessional introductory course to Watson Caring Science.


In 2021, CEPD collaborated with Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) to develop the Caritas Humanistic Care Certificate Program, a 5-module interprofessional course that introduces staff at all levels to Watson Caring Science as a theoretical and philosophical foundation of personal development and professional practice. The curriculum includes interactive online instruction, virtual small group work, one-to-one coaching relationships with dedicated Caritas Coaches, and the completion of a small-scale, self-defined project to integrate Watson Caring Science for personal development (i.e., self-care) and how that impacts professional practice.


The program is open to all employees at SHC, and online applications are accepted twice a year (Fall and Winter). The application serves as a learning needs assessment for participants within the course, allowing for an added commitment of the learner and an opportunity to establish a foundation for where learners are in integrating human caring into their current practice. Once the program is completed, participants receive 12 ANCC contact hours from our SHC Provider Unit for Modules 2-5 and are recognized as Caritas Nurse (RN/LVNN at all levels) or Caritas Partner (non-RN). In addition, participants receive a Caritas Nurse or Caritas Partner Certificate of Completion and a pin with their designation from Watson Caring Science Institute.

Financial Support

The CEPD applied and received $250,000.00 from Stanford University School of Medicine and Susie and Riley Bechtel to support our Interprofessional Humanistic Care Certificate Program to Promote Identity, Inclusion, Belonging, Equity, and Social Justice framed through Watson Caring Science. The funding covers guest speaker fees, project integration stipends, course materials, virtual learning technology platform, education efforts, program marketing, research cost, data analytics, and awareness building in the organization and community among internal and external customers (i.e., conference participation and publications).

5.  Develop a Caritas Practitioner of the Year Award Program during Nurses' Week celebrations at all levels.

We want to use the Watson Caritas Leader Score© and Watson Caritas Co-Workers Score© tools as templates to develop a Caritas Practitioner of the Year Award Program. The tools measure the overall consistency of human-to-human CARING experienced while working with a leader or a co-worker respectively.  The tools also allow for sharing a Caring Moment experienced while working with a leader or co-worker.  We want to explore the possibility of awarding these during nurses’ week celebrations.

Caritas Nurse

  • Kourtnie Avery-Chung
  • Vania Bernatsky
  • Jacqueline Campbell
  • Eva Chen
  • Alicia Cherubino
  • Anna Cornel
  • Kikuno Gilbride
  • Jade Gunnerson
  • Leah McFadden
  • Kimberely Pavela
  • Elizabeth Pincus
  • Sarah Proctor
  • Sandra Ruiz
  • Sukhbinder Sanga
  • Christin Thankachan
  • Amy Leung*
  • Brittaney West*
  • Eun-young "Jackie"Hwang*
  • Hannah Nicklas*
  • Joanne Meneses*
  • Kirsten Calverley*
  • Leanne Medina*
  • Maria Victoria T Paz*
  • Megan Su*
  • Quyen Ly*
  • Samantha A Furgason*
  • Manisha M Patel*
  • Sayoko Kamei*
  • Valeria Sharetskaya*
  • Iris Canarecio**
  • Angela Christensen**
  • Colleen Avery**
  • Bianca De La Piedra**
  • Recarlyn Dimaandal**
  • Amber Florian**
  • Yilin (Hope) Kuo**
  • Jennifer Lofft**
  • Maria Leah Millan**
  • Pooja Naik**
  • Katarina Phelps**
  • Jennifer Rillston**
  • Maria Magdalena (Nena) Sandoval**
  • Andrea Shows**
  • Jessie Ventura**
  • Vanessa Wilson**
  • Wanling (Cindy) Wu**
  • Brett Zorich**
*2022 Spring Cohort 
**2022 Fall Cohort

Caritas Partner

  • Carolina Zubiri
  • Charles Tigard 
  • Deborah Bolding
  • Jenna McDaniel 
  • Joseph Carlucci
  • Sonal Kapoor
  • Roxabeth Frausto*
  • Sandra Villafan*
  • Shelby Mcginnis*
  • Winter Brown*
  • Emily Criss**
  • Damaris Espinoza**
  • Arica Gaitan**
  • Teresa Garcia**
  • Kristina Mena**
  • Eleanor Portacio-Abea**
  • Allie van Nuys**
**2022 Caritas Partner Graduates

Caritas Coach

  • Paras Barnett 
  • Dale Beatty 
  • Liz Borgueta
  • Maribeth Cambridge
  • Debbie Childs-Alson
  • Jonathan Clevinger
  • Sarah Devincenzi
  • Eddah General
  • Mojgan Haririfar
  • Grissel Hernandez
  • Heather Jenkins
  • Yelena Korpacheva**
  • Lauran Milklosey
  • Gisso Oreo
  • Stephanie Radcliffe**
  • Pauline Regner
  • Molly Rodriguez
  • Kevin Tsui
  • Maleka Virani
  • Jimmy Ho**
  • Jade Gunnarson**
  • Leah McFadden**
  • Anna Chico-Cornell***
  • Katie O'Donnell ***
  • Eun-Young "Jackie" Hwang***
**2022 CCEP Graduates
***Cohort in progress


Submitted by:  Grissel Hernandez, PhD, MPH, RN, HNB-BC, NPD-BC, SGAHN

Watson Caring Science Caritas Coach®

Scholar, Global Academy of Holistic Nursing

Executive Director, CEPD

Schwartz Center Rounds Program Coordinator

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