Jim D’Alfonso, DNP, RN, PhD(h), NEA-BC, FNAP, FAAN

WCSI Board Member – Legacy and Nominations Lead
WCSI Visionary Caring Science Leadership Award Recipient
WCSI Honorary Doctorate in Caring Science
WCSI Faculty Associate
WCSI Caritas Coach®
KP CCEP Faculty
Master HeartMath® Trainer (HMCT)

Executive Director, Professional Excellence & The KP Scholars Academy, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA
Associate Editor in Chief, Nursing Administration Quarterly (NAQ), Wolters Kluwer Publishers, Philadelphia, PA
Adjunct Faculty, University of San Francisco (USF), San Francisco, CA
Lecturer, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA

Visionary Caring Science Leadership

At the 2018 International Caritas Consortium Jim was honored by Jean Watson as the 3rd recipient of the prestigious Visionary Caring Science Leadership Award. Previous honorees include Dr. Earl Bakken (2008), Founder of Medtronic and inventor of the first battery operated pacemaker and Dr. Anne Boykin (2009), theorist and dean emeritus of Christine E. Lynn School of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University.

Jim was also awarded an honorary doctorate in Caring Science by Dr. Jean Watson to honor his career-long devotion to transformative leadership, scholarly teaching, and practices in human caring. As a pioneer member of Watson’s International Caritas Consortium (ICC), Jim helped outline the ontological competencies of caring literacy and other strategies to bridge theory and praxis. Jim was appointed Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer for Watson Caring Science Institute in 2008. During his tenure, Jim led the design and launch of the Caritas Coach Education Program® (CCEP), the development of WCSI’s prestigious and growing faculty, the integration of HeartMath / Heart Science teachings, and the development of the expanded WCSI website and student portal. Among other contributions, Jim was a co-creator of the WCPS (Watson Caritas Patient Score®) instrument and the accompanying “State of the Science” poster. For over 25+ years Jim has conducted workshops, consulted, and lectured on Caring Science across the US and internationally, including Denmark, Norway, Japan, Italy, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

Jim holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a focus in executive leadership from the University of San Francisco (USF), where he serves as Adjunct Faculty for the School of Nursing and Health Professions. He is also a lecturer at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. He is a board-certified nurse executive (NEA-BC), WCSI Caritas Coach, Master HeartMath Trainer (HMCT), a Distinguished Fellow of the Nursing Academies of Practice (FNAP), and in 2020 was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Jim has published extensively, including his scholarly work on “Aligning theory and evidence-based practice to enhance human flourishing in nurse executives” in 2017 and a book “Kaiser School of Nursing: A Legacy of disruptive innovation” in 2020. He co-authored a chapter in the text ‘Visionary Leadership’ on “Quantum Caring Leadership” in 2022.

Today, Jim is Executive Director for Professional Excellence for Kaiser Permanente (KP) and the Founding Executive Director of the KP Scholars Academy in Northern California (NCAL). KP NCAL is the largest WCSI Affiliate and an international exemplar for Caring Science Heart Science systems accreditation. KP NCAL supports region-wide caring science and heart science offerings, including over a decade of annual KP Caritas Consortia, community-based youth and academic partnership events, executive and equine leadership seminars and point of care clinical research and programs supported by over 125 Caritas Coaches and 100 HeartMath trainers across all 21 hospitals. Nationally recognized programs include the 2018 KP Nurse Scholars Academy and University of San Francisco (USF) Exemplary Clinical Practice Partnership Award presented by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the 2017 Telly Award for a documentary on KP’s Legacy of Nursing. KP Caring Science Academy hosts international PhD nurse scholars from Aarhus University annually, where Jim has taught a master Caring Science Theory and Leadership Practice class to graduate nursing students in Denmark since 2015.