Celebrating Caritas Colleague Gayle L Casterline

March 2021

We continue to highlight our Caritas Colleagues and share their contribution and commitment to Caring Science. This month we are celebrating: Gayle L Casterline, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, Caritas Coach®.

My Story

I first heard Dr. Jean Watson speak in the 80’s at a Sigma Theta Tau conference. Her ideas of expanding consciousness and transpersonal relationships fit perfectly with my own experiences with spiritual connectedness. Since that time I have used Caring Science as a model for my personal and professional life. I have also been deeply influenced by Dr. Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, my dissertation advisor, who encouraged me to pursue qualitative research questions. Lastly, I have been inspired by Dr. Barbara Dossey and the importance of creative expressions of healing.

My favorite Caritas Process® is #6 using creative ways of knowing for solution-seeking. As a nurse healer, I value empirical and subjective ways of knowing. As a researcher, I learned that I needed to be curious and use my strengths to find answers. I particularly like aesthetic ways of knowing, and enjoy using art, poetry, music, sound, rhythm, and voice to experience caring and healing. I use these to create a nonthreatening learning environment that puts students at ease.

Aesthetic ways of knowing connects diverse groups of people, helping us see one another’s humanity.

Areas of Expertise
  • Spirituality and health
  • Holistic modalities for self-care
  • Caring environments in higher education
  • Ethical leadership
Contributions to the Legacy of Caring Science

I celebrated 50 years in nursing this year! As my career drew me into the roles of researcher and academic educator, I hope that others have seen me as a kind, approachable leader. Perhaps my legacy will be the hundreds of students I have encouraged to develop and implement theory-informed research. I have championed the importance of theory-guided practice and holistic caring of self and others. My spiritual path is long and deep; I believe we experience fulfillment when our devotion to Love is met by sacred presence in our lives. I was honored to have been invited by Jean to teach in the very first Caritas Coach Education Program in Amelia Island and I am so proud of the caring work our coaches accomplish all over the world! I am deeply grateful for Jean’s caring presence in my life.


Spartanburg, South Carolina

  • Casterline, G.L. (2019). The miracle of prayer. In J. Watson (Ed.). Miracles and mysteries: Witnessed by nurses. Springer Publishing.
  • Casterline, G.L. (2019). Photovoice: Qualitative research strategy for theory-guided nursing practice. In W. Rosa, S. Horton-Deutch, & J. Watson (Eds.) A Handbook for Caring Science: Expanding the paradigm. New York: Springer.
  • Casterline, G.L. (2018). Healing, wholeness, and connection through prayer: A guide for nurses. Beginnings, American Holistic Nurses Association, 38(1), 8-9.
  • Casterline, G.L. (2018). Using theory to inform holistic research. Connections in Holistic Nursing Research, 10(2), 7.
  • Shaw, C.L., Casterline, G.L., Taylor, D., Fogle, M., & Granger, B. (2017). Increasing health portal utilization in cardiac ambulatory patients: A pilot project. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 35(10), 512-519.
  • Casterline, G. (2016). Spirituality and nursing: United States and Ukraine. In S. Lee, P. Palmieri, & J. Watson (Eds.) Global advances in human caring literacy (pp. 131-140). New York: Springer.
  • Gaston, T., Short, N., Ralyea, C., & Casterline, G. (2016). Promoting patient safety: Results of A TeamSTEPPS initiative. Journal of Nursing Administration, 46(4), 201-207.
  • Wilson, M. & Casterline, G.L. (2013). Using caring science to design a healing environment for trans-radial catheterization recovery. International Journal of the Association for Human Caring, 17(2), 50-58.
  • Casterline, G.L. (2009). Heuristic inquiry: Artistic science for nursing. Southern Online Journal for Nursing Research, 9(1), 1-8.
  • *Casterline, G.L. (2008). Jean Watson’s Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring. In Book Reviews, International Journal of Human Caring, 12(4), 58-59.
  • *Casterline, G.L. (2008). Watson’s caring science as a framework for exploring the experience of the act of praying. International Journal of Human Caring, 12(3), 87.
  • *Casterline, G.L. (2007). Jean Watson’s Caring Science as Sacred Science. An important contribution to Human Science Nursing in the 21st century. In Book Reviews and New Media, Nursing Science Quarterly, 20, 384-385.