- June 24, 2010
Contact: Anna Schoner, American Holistic Nurses Association, (800) 278-2462 Ext. 19

The American Holistic Nurses Association Honors Dr. Jean Watson RN, PhD, FAAN, AHN-BC with the Holistic Nurse of the Year Award

Each year the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA, recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of holistic nursing with the Holistic Nurse of the Year (HNY) award. AHNA proudly honored Jean Watson RN, PhD, FAAN, AHN-BC at their 30th annual conference with the 2010 HNY award for her contributions in furthering the practice of holistic nursing and bringing caring and healing to the forefront of nursing practice.  Dr. Watson, who was one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 conference and has presented as an AHNA speaker in 2005, was presented with the Open Heart sculpture to carry with her all year during the 2010 International Year of the Nurse. This symbol of authentic caring and holistic healing speaks to the work that Dr. Watson has been whole-heartedly advocating for more than 30 years.  

As a visionary for holistic health and caring/ healing, Dr. Watson models the mission of AHNA ─ to foster a vital community that advances holistic health and nursing.  In a recent article published in AHNA’s Beginnings magazine, Dr. Watson points out that “true transformation of health care ultimately has to come from a shift in consciousness and intentional, informed actions of the practitioners themselves” (Spring 2010, p. 15).  AHNA nurtures and inspires its members with the intention of building an expert and caring community equipped to achieve a “true transformation of health care.”

Dr. Watson acts as a voice for AHNA in both the personal and professional arena, which is one of the HNY requirements. She advocates that  “AHNA and its members are paving the way toward authentic transformation from the inside out…Caring Science/theory-guided care, combined with holistic healing practices, is restoring the human spirit and inner healing processes” (AHNA 2010, conference keynote).

A major contributor to the field of holistic nursing, Dr. Watson has helped to advance this specialty nursing practice through her numerous activities, teaching, research and publications. Between 1975 and 1979, Dr. Watson developed the Theory of Transpersonal Caring, also called the Theory of Human Caring or The Caring Model. This work has evolved over the years through numerous publications, and further theoretical texts, including Nursing. The Philosophy and Science of Caring, revised edition, 2008 which extended the original theory into its latest form. She is one of the few nursing theorists who considered not only the "cared for", but also the caregiver, which resonates closely with AHNA’s efforts to promote self-care within the nursing profession.  

While Dean of Nursing at the University of Colorado, Dr. Watson established the original Center for Human Caring and helped develop the doctoral program in nursing at the University of Colorado College. In 2007, Dr. Watson founded the international, nonprofit Watson Caring Science Institute ( with the mission to restore the profound nature of caring-healing and support the current healthcare system to nurture and retain its most precious resource: competent, caring professional nurses. This year, during the 2010 International Year of the Nurse, Dr. Watson has launched the Million Nurse Global Caring Field Project with the intention to connect a million nurses (or more) around the globe to create a field of worldwide energetic caring consciousness for global healing and health for all.

Dr. Watson’s leadership and capacity to implement holistic programs are essential to the promotion of healing and caring, the two key platforms of AHNA.  “This work is about bringing science and soul together…making more explicit the connection between our humanity, our caring and our healing. Always remembering that our greatest source of healing is love”--Jean Watson, (AHNA 2010, conference keynote).

Founded in 1981, AHNA is a non-profit membership association for nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals.  AHNA is the definitive voice for holistic nursing, and promotes the education of nurses, other healthcare professionals, and the public in all aspects of holistic caring and healing. The Mission of AHNA is to foster a vital community that advances holistic health and nursing. Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with defined scope and standards of practice. Go to for more information


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