Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Caring is central to the nursing profession and important to patients and family members who expect nurses to display caring attributes. The acute care hospital in this study did not have an education program on caring practices for nursing staff although the organization acknowledged the importance of and need for a culture of caring practices in the organization. The purpose of this project was to design an educational program based on Watsons' theory of caring for registered nurses at the acute care hospital where the project took place. Rosswurm and Larrabee's model for change and Watson's theory of caring were the frameworks used to guide the project. The practice-focused question asked if a caring nursing education program could be developed after assessing the level of caring of the staff in addition to evidence-based practice literature. The Caring Factor Survey-Care Provider, a 20-item survey, was used to have staff rank Watson's 20 caring factors on a 7-point Likert scale. Data from the surveys were collected from 37 registered nurses on the medical surgical nursing unit; then, results were tabulated and used in the development of a caring education curriculum. Results indicated a mean range from 4.70 to 6.75 with perception of being respectful of patients' individual spiritual beliefs and practices (mean score of 6.75) ranking highest and creation of a helping and trusting relationship lowest (mean score of 4.70). Items where staff scored a mean score less than 5 were incorporated into the education curriculum. The caring educational program may bring positive social change to the acute care hospital by changing the culture of nursing and nursing practice toward an awareness of caring and caring science.