Theories of Caring in Nursing


A concept represents a symbol or a building block of a bigger spectrum, it is in within the basis of what a researcher might want to pursue, the research can be applied through the use of Evidence based practice. The most important part of developing a theory is its concept.  A concept is very helpful in educating and familiarizing more of itself to the nurses so that we can use the concept and get benefited from it and also use it in our daily practice. With the help of concept analysis we can understand the benefits and disadvantages of the whole nursing theories. As we learned from our discussion assignment that concept analysis has eight steps to it, and these steps helps nurses understand and research the theory completely. As it helps the nurses it also is very helpful for patients it gives us more knowledge about their living status such as their physical and social health.  The concept that I chose is that of caring in nursing, as caring is the essence of nursing.

Defining and explaining the concept of Caring

Caring is perceived as the human behavior that includes cognitive, affective, psychomotor and administrative skills within which the professional caring can be expressed. It is specially a vital source within an area of nursing such as ICU.  The terms of care and caring are predominately used to describe and inherent work and value nursing . Nursing as well know is a nurturing profession and it’s caring aspect is very important in providing holistic care especially when we have really sick patients who are critical.  The concept of caring in the ICU is very different from other units because this allows social relationship between the family and the nurse

Literature Review

Watson’s theory of caring defines caring as: “ the moral ideal of nursing whereby the end is protection, enhancement, and preservation of human dignity. Human caring comes with value and their needs to be a will and a passion to care, knowledge, caring actions and consequences.  Human caring is all related to inter subjective human response to health illness, environmental personal interaction, knowledge of the nurse caring process and self-knowledge. Watson posits that the essence of the value of human care and caring may be futile uncles it contributes to a philosophy of action.  As the value of caring is grounded in the self- transcending creative nurse.

Caring Attributes Definition

As caring is the foundation of nursing, caring attribute is the essential module to provide patients with the best care possible. The caring attribute of nursing consists of all c’s, which include compassion, competence, commitment and confidence. Compassion is when you show empathy towards your patient. Competency is when one has knowledge of what they doing to produce a successful care; by confidence you gain trust of your patient and their family.  The attributes are not hard to achieve, as they require practice all the way through all the stages of caring for a patient. As a healthcare worker we should practice these attributes all the times.

Caring Antecedents & Consequences

The antecedents of uncaring consists of carelessness and uncomfortable and suffering.  Being careless with a patient can put them in a major risk and can risk they safety and also life for that matter.  Caring for every patient is different because it all depends on their needs and the level of care they require. The consequences of not caring are a major risk as well because when the patient is not cared for well, the progress or the improve in health is jeopardized. You will know if you are providing a great care, either the family member or the patient will make sure you are aware of that.

Empirical Referents

One of the examples of the empirical referent of care is relieving pain and making sure that your patient is comfortable.  As caring means different to everyone it should left on an individual to judge care. Your patient or their family will let you know if they are getting a good care, people in general appreciate good care.

Model Case of Care

A model case represents all the attributes of caring.

A 68 years old woman walked in who didn’t really speak English. Another stranger who thought that she appeared ill so she needed to go see the doctor brought her in.  The woman thought that she was in trouble but the healthcare staff spoke to her and reassured her that she was not in trouble and that she should be fearless as she is in a safe place. After the examination was done the patient was  found to be in hypertensive crisis.  The PA explained to her that she needed an emergent care and needed to go to the emergency room so that they further evaluate her and treat her. The patient refused saying that her husband was home alone and he hadn’t eaten. There were several phone calls made to reach her husband and he finally was reached and came in and the patient got her treatment and was comfortable.

Borderline Comfort Case

A case was when this patient presented to the clinical after getting a surgery, she received a very good review of the post op orders and what to do and what not do during the recovery phase, and follow up with all the appointments, it turned out that she was not happy that she had to arrange for transportation on her own and it was a challenge to her because she didn’t have a phone and was not going through a good financial phase.  This case we missed and didn’t realize the barriers that this patient was facing.


Caring has more meanings than one can imagine. Everyone views caring from his or her own context, which is why the universal definition is not possible. The complexity of defining care should be on what the individual wants it to be. When we understand ourselves we can formulate own definition of caring. Providing an intellectual dialog on caring within the nursing community will enable the nursing profession to grow at its fullest potential by strengthening the core of the nurse for his/her fullest potential as a practicing nurse.


  • *Wilkin, K. (n.d.). The meaning of caring in the practice of intensive care nursing. Retrieved from
  • *Watson J (1988) Nursing: Human science and human care. New York, NY:
  • National League for Nursing.
  • *Walker LO, Avant KC. Strategies for theory construction in nursing. 4. Pearson Prentice Hall; Upper Saddle River, NJ: 2005.