How to Apply Jean Watsons Nursing Theory Into Nursing

Written by noreen wainwright
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How to Apply Jean Watsons Nursing Theory Into Nursing
The Jean Watson model is a reminder of the basic tenets of caring. (nurse on duty image by Pix by Marti from

It is timely to consider the Jean Watson Caring Theory and Nursing Model. Many nurses complain about their increased burden of paperwork. As the nursing role has evolved, some believe there has been a move away from the bedside, and in this move, much of the fundamental quality of nursing has been lost. It is quite a challenge for the modern nurse to combine a high level of academic knowledge, a management role and the caring approach advocated by the Jean Watson model. A reconsideration of Jean Watson's theory is an opportunity to go back to the basics of nursing.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Understand the six essential parts of the model. First, and perhaps most crucially, establish a relationship with the patient. According to Jean Watson, this relationship is central to the patient's experience, and also to the nurse's identity.

  2. 2

    Approach the patient in a holistic way. This means you should consider the physical, intellectual and emotional aspects of her care. View the patient as a person rather than a set of symptoms. Some of the questions asked on admission may reflect this holistic approach, for instance, you might ask about the patient's interests.

  3. 3

    Give unconditional acceptance to the patient. This means that you accept him as he is, and look behind how he presents himself; for instance, a taciturn or monosyllabic response may be because he is frightened or distressed. The nurse should attempt to find this out.

  4. 4

    Treat the patient with positive regard. When a person is ill, she is vulnerable and acutely sensitive to how others behave around her. This particularly applies to the nurse who may spend a lot of time with the patient.

  5. 5

    Promote health through knowledge and intervention. The nurse should maintain her own professional development, but she should also aim to increase the patient's knowledge of his own condition, and of ways that he can help his own health.

    Spend uninterruped time with the patient. Jean Watson refers to these as "transforming moments," which are important not only to the patient, but also to the nurse.

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