Celebrating Caritas Colleague Sara Lynne Horton-Deutsch

October 2023

We wish to celebrate and honor our Caritas Colleagues and share their contribution and commitment to Caring Science. This month we are celebrating: Sara Lynne Horton-Deutsch, PhD, RN, PMHCSN, FAAN, ANEF, SGAHN. Sara is Professor and Director of the University of San Francisco/Kaiser Permanente Partnership, WCSI Caritas Leader® Faculty Course Co-Director, WCSI Caritas Coach®, and WCSI Faculty Associate.

My Journey

My journey to WCSI was fueled by a burning desire to forge deeper connections with those under my care. I was not content with mere practice; I yearned to view my world through the prism of reflective practice. In 2013, I was led by Dr. Watson and the Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) to pursue the prestigious role of the Watson Caring Science Endowed Chair at the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing, a privilege beyond measure.

The ensuing years have been a whirlwind of transformation and growth. Collaborating with Dr. Watson and my exceptional colleagues in Caring Science, we embarked on the audacious journey of crafting a Caring Science PhD track. We undertook the transition of the Caritas Coach Education Program® to an online format. We have created the Caritas Leadership Program™and are working with WCSI affiliate colleges/universities to integrate Caring Science into the AACN Essentials. As a result, my reflective artistry continues to evolve into something deeply intentional—an expansive act of caring.

My writing, too, reflects this transformation. It weaves the tapestry of ethics, principles, and practices of Caring Science as the very foundation of reflection. But this journey is more than professional growth; it is a channel for the expansion of my own healing. Raised in a turbulent and often negative environment, hope and optimism had not come easily to me. Reflective practice is the bridge, with Caring Science the ground beneath, leading me from self-examination to a more spiritual and intentional way of being and doing—loving, accepting, forgiving, and co-creating.

Caring Science and Reflective Practice guide me in the delicate art of coexistence—digesting and assimilating the goodness while gracefully releasing that which no longer serves. As my voyage in Caring Science unfurls, so does the opportunity to gaze upon the past, savor the present, and dream of a future where we uncover the profound healing needs of humanity. It is a journey that surges with the passion of understanding, the transformative power of reflection, and the boundless love that fuels the healing of our world.

[Mine is] a journey that surges with the passion of understanding, the transformative power of reflection, and the boundless love that fuels the healing of our world.

Contributions to the legacy of Caring Science

I am actively preserving and promoting the legacy of Caring Science by integrating its principles and practices into my personal and professional life, contributing to academic programs, academic-practice partnerships, leadership development, and envisioning a future where Caring Science plays a vital role in healing and improving the well-being of individuals and society.

Areas of Expertise

Caring Science, Reflective Practice, Visionary Leadership


San Francisco, CA & Denver, CO


Horton-Deutsch, S. & Sherwood, G. (2024). Reflective practice: Reimagining ourselves, reimagining nursing. Sigma. Coming Soon!!!

Wei, H. & Horton-Deutsch, S. (2022). Visionary leadership in healthcare. Sigma.

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