jim dalfonsoDr. Jim D’Alfonso, DNP, RN, PhD(h), NEA-BC, FNAP

WCSI Honorary Doctorate in Caring Science
WCSI Board Member
WCSI Faculty Associate
WCSI Caritas Coach®
Master HeartMath Trainer (HMCT)

Adjunct Faculty, University of San Francisco, Executive Director Professional Practice, Leadership Development & Research
Founding Executive Director of The KP Nurse Scholars Academy
Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA


In 2015, Jim was awarded an honorary doctorate in Caring Science by Dr. Jean Watson to honor his devotion to transformative leadership, scholarly teaching, and practices in human caring. As an early 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 “State of the Science” poster. For over 20 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 a board-certified nurse executive (NEA-BC), WCSI Caritas Coach®, Master HeartMath Trainer (HMCT), and a Distinguished Fellow of the Nursing Academies of Practice (FNAP). Jim has published extensively, including his scholarly work on “Aligning theory and evidence-based practice to enhance human flourishing in nurse executives” and a peer-review article entitled “Kaiser School of Nursing: A 70-year history of disruptive innovation.”

Today, Jim is Executive Director for Professional Practice, Leadership Development and Research for Kaiser Permanente (KP) and the Founding Executive Director of the KP Nurse 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 almost a decade of annual KP Caritas Consortia, community-based youth and academic partnership events, executive and equine leadership seminars and point of care clinical programs supported by over 80 Caritas Coaches and 80 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.