Community Hero

Dr. Jean Watson

(USA) United States:  Nurse

Nominee Highlights:

Dr. Jean Watson has been named a living legend by the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, its highest honor. She also has been awarded 15 honorary doctorates and has chaired the nation’s first endowed Chair in Caring Science for 16 years. She is the Founder and Director of the non-profit foundation Watson Caring Science Institute ( She has authored and co-authored over 30 books on caring, ranging from empirical measurements, new postmodern philosophies to global advances in caring literacy. Her books have received the American Journal of Nursing’s “Book of the Year” award and seek to bridge paradigms as well as point towards transformative models, now, and the future.


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Dr. Jean Watson, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, LL (AAN), is a distinguished professor and Dean Emerita at the 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 the 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 the International Association in Human Caring and International Caritas Consortium. She is also the Founder and Director of the non-profit foundation, Watson Caring Science Institute ( In 2013 Dr. Watson was inducted as a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing, its highest honor.

Dr. Watson’s caring philosophy is used to guide transformative models of caring education, and professional caring-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.

As author and co-author of over 30 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. Many of her books have been recognized by the AJN Book of the Year Awards and seek to bridge paradigms as well as point toward transformative models for this 21st century.

She is also the recipient of many national/international 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; The Hildebrand Center for Compassion in Medicine Award Notre Dame University; Academy Integrative Medicine and Healing Award for pioneering work in Caring Science; Japanese International Society of Caring and Peace Chair. She holds fifteen (15) Honorary Doctoral Degrees, including 12 International Honorary Doctorates (Sweden, United Kingdom, (2) Spain, British Colombia and Quebec, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Peru (2), and Colombia, S. America).