Exploring a culture of caring

Lisa C. Carter, Joyce L. Nelson, Beth A. Sievers, Sarah L. Dukek, Teri Pipe, Diane E. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


AIM: The delivery of patient-centered care is basic to a large midwestern healthcare institution's mission and highly valued by the department of nursing. Even so, nurses on one medical unit questioned whether caring behaviors were devalued in a technology-oriented environment of providing care. The nursing leadership on the unit responded to the inquiry by conducting a research study. This study explored the state of patient-centered nursing care on a medical unit as perceived by the nursing staff and patients, using Watson's Theory of Human Caring as a framework. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study utilized surveys for both nursing staff (n = 31) and patients (n = 62), and included a focus group of nursing staff (n = 8) to explore ideas for innovation. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Both nurses and patients perceived a high level of caring on the unit. The overall theme from the focus group was that "caring begets caring," with 2 subthemes: "relationships of care" and "the context of caring." Caring for each other was identified as essential to keep staff energized and able to work lovingly with patients. Nursing leadership brought the research findings to all staff on the unit for discussion and implementation of structural support for the unit culture of caring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalNursing administration quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring
  • Nurse-patient relations
  • Patient-centered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring a culture of caring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this