Dr. Jean Watson

Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAANjean2014

Founder/Director Watson Caring Science Institute
Distinguished Professor Emerita –Dean Emerita
University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Center
American Academy of Nursing, Living Legend, 2013
Recognized for pioneering work in Caring Science, The Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, University of Notre Dame

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Jean was recently honored for her pioneering work in Caring Science from The Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, University of Notre Dame.



AANlogoJean was honored with the distinction of “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing, the Academy’s highest recognition of honor.


Save the Date.CDR

Jean Watson Named Living Legend, A Message from the Dean, CU College of Nursing, October 2013

Former CU College of Nursing Dean Jean Watson Honored as ‘Living Legend’, August 2013




Dr. Jean Watson is Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing Anschutz Medical Center campus, where she held the nation’s first endowed Chair in Caring Science for 16 years. She is founder of the original Center for Human Caring in Colorado and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; past President of the National League for Nursing; founding member of International Association in Human Caring and International Caritas Consortium. Her latest activities include Founder and Director of non-profit foundation: Watson Caring Science Institute.

Dr. Watson has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and psychiatric-mental health nursing and holds her PhD in educational psychology and counseling. She is a widely published author and recipient of many awards and honors, including The Fetzer Institute Norman Cousins Award, in recognition of her commitment to developing; maintaining and exemplifying relationship-centered care practices; an international Kellogg Fellowship in Australia, a Fulbright Research Award in Sweden. She holds ten (11)  Honorary Doctoral Degrees, including 8 International Honorary Doctorates (Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, British Colombia, Quebec, Canada, Japan, Turkey).

Clinical nurses and academic programs throughout the world use her published works on the philosophy and theory of human caring and the art and science of caring in nursing. Dr. Watson’s caring philosophy is used to guide transformative models of caring and healing practices for hospitals, nurses and patients alike, in diverse settings worldwide.

At the University of Colorado, Dr. Watson held the title of Distinguished Professor of Nursing; the highest honor accorded its faculty for scholarly work. In 1999 she assumed the Murchinson-Scoville Chair in Caring Science, the nation’s first endowed chair in Caring Science, based at the University of Colorado Denver & Anschutz Medical Center.

As author/co-author of over 20 books on caring, her latest books range from empirical measurements and international research on caring, to new postmodern philosophies of caring and healing, philosophy and science of caring and caring science as sacred science. Her books have been AJN books of the year awards and seek to bridge paradigms as well as point toward transformative models for this 21st century.

In October, 2013 Dr. Watson was inducted as a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing, its highest honor.