Nursing Faculty Experience of Teaching from the Heart (Download)


Nancy J. Vitali, MS, RN
Nursing Faculty Experience of Teaching from the Heart
December, 2016



Teaching from the Heart is one transformational strategy for faculty in the rapidly changing, complex, technically-driven environment of nursing education. The primary purpose of this research is to understand the experience of Teaching from the Heart from a human science/caring science perspective. Watson’s Theory of Human Caring provides the theoretical basis for understanding the phenomenon of teaching from the heart. The purpose of this research is to contribute to the body of knowledge of human caring and posit ideas for transformation of nursing education. The research question is: “What is the experience of nursing faculty teaching from the heart?”

Teaching from the heart according to Watson (2000, 2005, 2008, 2011, personal communication, June, 2015) is a lived transpersonal caring experience. Teaching from the heart is living from the heart-center radiating energy from the heart, while attuning to universal love in the moment. The “in the moment” relationship between faculty and student is guided by a Caritas ontological perspective (Watson, 2005).

The methodology of interpretive phenomenology was used in conjunction with narrative inquiry methods, blending the use of story and art to discover “hidden wholeness” (Palmer, 2010) and unity of meaning within the phenomenon of teaching from the heart. Participants included 10 faculty members who have experience teaching in caring-focused nursing programs, or were educated in caring-focused programs. Participants were interviewed; the interviews recorded as faculty sharing stories and experiences of teaching from the heart. Collages were created and discussed. Data was analyzed for patterns, themes, and levels of consciousness.

The primary contribution of this research to caring science is a deepening of the understanding of the phenomenon of teaching from the heart as a transpersonal caring healing experience as lived by nursing faculty guided by caring science. Nursing faculty guided by caring science are viewed as a repository of nursing knowledge, wisdom, expertise, and caring consciousness. Recommendations for nursing education as a whole, for nursing faculty and for caring science-focused faculty are included in the last chapter.