Dr. Jean M. Gribbon, PhD, RN

Watson Caring Science Scholar
Chief Mission Officer of Beads of Courage, Inc.
Tucson, AZ

Dr. Jean Gribbon is the Chief Mission Officer of Beads of Courage, Inc. a non-profit organization she founded in March of 2005.

She has both her Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing and her PhD in Nursing from the University of Arizona, College of Nursing. Her nursing career has been diverse including working in a cell biology lab doing breast cancer research; conducting pharmacology studies in the neonatal intensive care unit; and managing a research study to help mothers with breast cancer and their children. Her clinical experience caring for children coping with cancer both at the bedside and as a camp nurse at one of Paul Newman’s camps inspired her to create a coping intervention for children coping with cancer.

The Beads of Courage Program which began as her doctoral dissertation has now grown to be a standard of care in more than 400 children’s hospitals in 9 countries as a form of narrative medicine to help children coping with cancer and other serious illness record, tell and own their story of courage using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of their treatment journey. To further expand her passion for and to further her understanding of human caring, Jean completed her post doctorate in July of 2023 at the Watson Science Caring Institute where she was mentored under the leadership and wisdom of Dr. Jean Watson.

Beginning in 2024, Jean will be transitioning to serve as the President of the Center for Arts-in-Nursing, a Division of Beads of Courage, Inc. with a strategic focus on strengthening experiences of human caring through the arts. The Center will initially focus on providing programs for clinicians, caregivers and the greater communities in which they reside.

Jean lives in Tucson with her three kids – Luke (20 years), Aiden (19 years) and Brooke (16 years). When not pursuing the mission of Beads of Courage with passion, you will find Jean enjoying live music (especially folk music with a banjo), hiking, biking, and cooking for her family.