Celebrating Caritas Colleague Lisa Goldberg

July 2022

We continue to highlight our Caritas Colleagues and share their contribution and commitment to Caring Science. This month we are celebrating:  Lisa Goldberg, RN, BA, MA, PhD, Caritas Coach®, WCSI Faculty Associate.

My Story

My journey to Caring Science was not an easy one, but most journeys worth taking never are. Living through the death of both parents not long after taking up a challenging academic position in Nova Scotia, negotiating chronic pain, and not understanding the pedagogical importance of the heart as key to teaching excellence, I discovered my ability to guide and mentor students in meaningful ways as an educator was far from stellar. As the evidence began to mount, I could no longer ignore my teaching evaluations. They became increasingly fraught indicating the issue was not with the students, but rather, with me — as I have written about in detail elsewhere¹. This is not to suggest I didn’t have authentic and meaningful relationships with some students, because I did. Yet given my previous two degrees in philosophy, a discipline known to position the head before the heart, it is not surprising that as a passionate and politicized educator, even as a nurse with an expansive heart, the head initially took the lead, albeit often without knowing and never with will intent. Yet, numerous students seemed to feel a sense of alienation and a lack of compassion from my initial pedagogical approach. Clearly, change was required.

my contribution is making visible the critical role Caring Science plays in politicizing my acts of compassion-in-action, which at times are rebellious, if institutional change is to occur and indeed transform

The Caritas Coach Education Program® (CCEP)

With the knowledge that I needed to address this critical concern, particularly if teaching is as bell hooks suggests about respecting the souls of the students we work with², I set out on a journey of self-discovery and transformation: Enter the Caritas Coach Education Program, the magic of Jean Watson, and the generous faculty and students I had the privilege to work alongside during this journey. With on-site intensive learning, one-to-one mentorship, and opportunities to dive deep into reading and writing, my passion and love of teaching were rekindled. In so doing, I acquired a set of action-oriented tools in the caritas processes to co-create environments of learning and teaching grounded in compassion, trust, and relationality. This created opportunities both in and outside of the classroom for me to understand a student’s story, context and situatedness — something critical during this time in our culture, particularly as we consider how to advance institutional excellence through the lens of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA).

Implications for Today

To my surprise, it has been 8 years since completing the CCEP. While there have been many successes: re-developing courses with Caring Science as the foundation, publishing in the area with students and with Jean, and recently developing new workshops to consider the role of compassion in understanding how to work across difference to create spaces of belonging. Through my work in Caring Science, I have also deepened my ethical relationship to animals and the planet by living a vegan lifestyle for almost 7 years — although after much soul-searching opted for a vegetarian lifestyle for now. While uncertain if it is the right decision for me, and the animals, I return to the place of the self, caritas process number 1 and remember self-love is also key to this work, and this is what is needed for health and wellness at this time. Lastly, I can’t pick one caritas process as a favorite because they form my magical toolkit and these days they are used in my role as Associate Director of Student Affairs. Collectively they assist me in working alongside students to foster their success throughout our BScN program.


When considering how I contribute to preserving and promoting the legacy of Caring Science, I am reminded of the words of the brilliant bell hooks: scholar, teacher, author, and activist who passed away in 2021. Her words, “there can be no love without justice,” are at the heart of how I aim to continue the ontology, epistemology, and ethic of Caring Science. By negotiating the deeply damaged and discriminatory systems I inhabit, albeit imperfectly, my aim is to redress systemic inequities focusing on creating safer spaces for all to thrive, including those from diverse and equity deserving communities. Located within the intersectional identities of 2SLGBTQ+ and (dis)Ability communities, countered often through the embodiment of my cis-gender white privilege, my contribution is making visible the critical role Caring Science plays in politicizing my acts of compassion-in-action, which at times are rebellious, if institutional change is to occur and indeed transform. Never easy, always collaborative, and infused with hope for a different tomorrow; this work is lifelong, driven by passion, and sustained through writing, research, teaching, and most recently, the critical advocacy work I do with the many brilliant and courageous nursing students I am privileged to work beside in my role as Associate Director of Undergraduate Student Affairs.


Caring Science, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA), queer birthing practices, 2SLGBTQ+ health care, nursing philosophy, perinatal and community health nursing.


Halifax, Nova Scotia

¹ [Goldberg, L. (2018). Living a caritas consciousness: A philosophy for our everyday practices as nurse educators. In Horton-Deutsch, S., & Anderson, J. (eds.). Caritas Coaching: A journey toward transpersonal caring for informed moral action in healthcare. Indiana, IN: Sigma Theta Tau].

² hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Abington, UK: Routledge.


Publications: Peer Reviewed Articles
Sheppard-LeMoine, D., Aston, M., Goldberg, L., MacDonald, J., & Tamlyn, D. (2021). Empowering public health nurses and community home visitors through effective communication relationships. Nursing Reports, 11(3), 652-665

Joy, P., Goldberg, L., Aston, M., Kirk, S., & Numer, M., Rehman, L. (2021). Compassionate bodies, compassionate practice: Navigating body image tensions among gay men. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 21(7)

Goldberg, L., Johnson, L.T., & Murphy, S. (2020). From the tea café to the haiku: Using compassion to transform digital learning spaces to include active learning pedagogiesQuality Advancement in Nursing Education, 6(3), DOI: 10.17483/2368-6669.1223

Almukhaini, S., Goldberg, L., & Watson, J. (2020). Embodying caring science as Islamic philosophy of care: Implications for nursing practiceAdvances in Nursing Science, 43(1), 62-74. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000300

Brenol, S., Goldberg, L., & Watson, J. (2018). Caring for children who are technology dependent and their families: The application of caring science to guide nursing practice. Advances in Nursing Science, 42(2), E13-E23 doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000238

Burrow, S., Goldberg, L., Searle, J., & Aston, M. (2018). Vulnerability, harm, and compromised ethical principles revealed by the experiences of queer birthing women in rural health care. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 15(4): 511-524. 3) DOI: 10.1007/s11673-018-9882-5

Jefferies, K., Goldberg, L., Aston, A., & Tomblin-Murphy, G. (2018). The invisibility of black nurse leaders. Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Payntor, M., & Goldberg, L. (2018). A Critical Review of Human Milk Sharing Using an
Intersectional Feminist Framework: Implications for Practice. Midwifery, 66, 141-147

Richardson, B., & Goldberg, L., Aston, M., & Campbell-Yeo, M. (2018). eHealth Versus eQuality: Using a feminist poststructural framework to evaluate the influence of perinatal eHealth resources on health equity. Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Goldberg, L., Rosenburg, N., & Watson, J. (2017) Rendering LGBTQ+ visible in nursing: Embodying the philosophy of caring science. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 8(21)

Searle, J., Goldberg, L., Aston, A., & Burrow, S., (2017). Addressing trauma informed care in queer birthing women in rural Nova Scotia. Journal of Clinical Nursing DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13727

Revels, A., Goldberg, L., & Watson, J. (2016). The use of a caring science framework for palliation in emergency care.  International Journal of Human Caring, 20(4), 206-212.

Cassidy, C., Goldberg, L., & Aston, M. (2016). Exploring young women’s sexual health practices through a feminist post-structural framework. Clinical Nurse Specialist doi: 10.1111/jocn.13354

Benoit, B., Goldberg, L., & Campbell, M. (2016). Response to: “The emotional storms of breastfeeding and points to remember.” Midwifery doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.02.005

Benoit, B., Goldberg, L., Campbell-Yeo, M. (2016) Infant feeding and maternal guilt: The application of a feminist phenomenological framework to guide clinician practices in breastfeeding promotion. Midwifery, 34, 58-65.

Heyes, C., Dean, M., & Goldberg, L. (2015). Queer phenomenology, sexual orientation, and health care spaces: Learning from the narratives of queer women and nurses in primary health care. Journal of Homosexuality, 63(2), 141-155.

Beagan, B., Fredericks, E., & Goldberg, L. (2012). Nurses’ work with LGBTQ clients: “They’re just like everybody else, so what’s the difference?” The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.

Harbin, A., Beagan, B., & Goldberg, L. (2012). Discomfort, judgment, and health care for queers. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 9(2), 149-160.

Goldberg, L., Harbin, A., & Campbell, S. (2011). Queering the birthing space: Phenomenological interpretations of the relationships between lesbian couples and perinatal nurses in the context of birthing care. Sexualities, 14, 173-192

Simmons, H., & Goldberg, L. (2011). Understanding meaning in the label of ‘high risk’ pregnancy: A feminist phenomenological analysis. Midwifery, 27, 452–457.

Ryan, A., & Goldberg, L., & Evans, J. (2010). Wise women: Mentoring as relational learning in perinatal nursing practice. The Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 183-191.

Goldberg, L., Ryan, A., & Sawchyn, J. (2009). Feminist and queer phenomenology: A framework for perinatal nursing practice, research, and education for advancing lesbian health. Healthcare for Women International, 30(6), 536-549.

Goldberg, L.S. (2008). Embodied trust within the perinatal nursing relationship. Midwifery, 24(1), 74-82.

Goldberg, L. (2005/2006). Understanding lesbian experience: What perinatal nurses should know to promote women’s health. Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses Lifelines, 9(6), 463-467.

Goldberg, L.S. (2005). Introductory engagement within the perinatal nursing relationship. Nursing Ethics, 12(4), 401-313.

Austin, W., Lemermeyer, G, & Goldberg, L., Bergum, V. & Johnston, M. (2005). Moral Distress in Healthcare Practice: The Situation of Nurses. HEC Forum, 17(1), 33-48.

Goldberg, L. (2003). In the company of women: Enacting autonomy within the perinatal nursing relationship. Nursing Ethics, 10(6), 581-588.

Austin, W., Bergum, V., & Goldberg, L. (2003). Unable to answer the call of our patients: Mental health nurses’ experience of moral distress. Nursing Inquiry, 10(3), 177-183.

Goldberg, L. (2002). Rethinking the birthing body: Cartesian dualism and perinatal nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(5), 446-45

Book Chapters/Contributions

Goldberg, L., & Aston, M. (2022). What to expect when you aren’t expected: Bringing queer birthing lives from story to stage. In Jones, K. (ed). Doing performative social science: Creativity in doing research and reaching communities. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Goldberg, L. (2018). Living a caritas consciousness: A philosophy for our everyday practices as nurse educators. In Horton-Deutsch, S., & Anderson, J. (eds.). Caritas Coaching: A journey toward transpersonal caring for informed moral action in healthcare. Indiana, IN: Sigma Theta Tau.

Goldberg, L. (2015). Cultivating inclusivity with Caring Science in the area of LGBTQ education: The self-reflexive educator. Faculty Focus, CULT, 23(3), 15-17 (Invited).

Harbin, A., Beagan, B., & Goldberg, L. (2013). Discomfort, judgment, and health care for queers. In Weijer, J., Skelton, A., & Brenner, S. (eds.). Bioethics in Canada. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 292-298 (Reprinted from the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry).


Goldberg, L., Aston, A., Searle, J., & Burrow, S. (2017). Relationships and rural health practices: The experiences of LGBQ women and their perinatal care providers. CIHR/NSHRF/NRF/FOH

Goldberg, L., Beagan, B., Atkinson, S., Bryson, M., Heyes, C., Fredericks, E., Harbin, A., & Hattie, B. (2012). Health care practices and relationships: The relationships of LGBTQ women and their primary care providers. CIHR

Op Ed

Goldberg, L. (November 2021). How do we foster resiliency in the next generation of nursing graduates in the fallout from COVID-19, Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Goldberg, L. (July 2020). Treasuring the magic of grandparents during COVID-19, Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Goldberg, L. (April 2020). Finding moments of joy in the artistry of life, Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

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