Samuel Merritt University recognized as Academic Affiliate™ of Watson Caring Science Institute

Boulder, CO – June 2019 – Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) and Dr. Jean Watson are proud to announce Samuel Merritt University (SMU), Oakland, California has been named a National Watson Caring Science Academic Affiliate™ — the second only academic system to achieve formal affiliation of The Watson Caring Science Institute.

The designation recognizes Samuel Merritt University’s exemplary integration of caring theory and leadership commitment to offer informed Caring Science curriculum to their nursing students. Samuel Merritt University joins The College of New Rochelle, New York to become the second academic institution to have ever received the prestigious ‘National Caring Science Affiliate™’ recognition status.

Paulina Van, PhD, RN, CNE, Professor and Chair, RN to BSN Program, commented “Our RN to BSN team of faculty and staff are humbled and inspired by Samuel Merritt University’s designation as a National Watson Caring Science Academic Affiliate™. Caring Science theoretical perspectives have been used as context and the foundation to transform the clinical practice and leadership performance of our scholars in various settings and at myriad stages in their respective careers.”

Caring Science and WCSI Affiliation contributes to the wider Samuel Merritt University learning outcomes. Van explains “Our graduates reported being transformed in ways in which their impact on care, policy, and the caring environment exceeded their expectations.”

Transformative Teaching and Learning

Samuel Merritt University has shown their commitment towards authentic, deep-rooted and sustainable Caring Science teaching and learning. Partnering with another WCSI Affiliate, Kaiser Foundation Hospital of Northern California, SMU designed a new RN to BSN program grounded in Unitary Caring Science (UCS). The program begins with a MBSR course that serves as an experiential introduction to UCS. Faculty are well-grounded in UCS – five are WCSI trained Caritas Coaches®, three HeartMath© trainers and a postdoctoral immersion in UCS. The core values of UCS drive the program’s goals and lend to the healing-teaching-learning environment.

Audrey Berman, PhD, RN, Professor and Dean, School of Nursing SMU commented, “The faculty and students in this program have consistently reported the amazing, positive influence of Unitary Caring Science framework on their learning and their personal and professional lives. In addition, the influence has spread into our other nursing programs and those faculty are beginning to plan how to integrate UCS concepts in their curricula and everyday practices. The recognition from WCSI will serve to provide additional motivation for ongoing and enhanced connections.”

Jean Watson, Founder and Director of WCSI said: “I am honored and delighted to formalize the invitation for Samuel Merritt University RN2BS Nursing program to be nationally recognized and identified as one of the Inaugural National Caring Science Academic Affiliates of Watson Caring Science Institute. I am impressed and inspired by the nature and depth of caring science curriculum at Samuel Merritt University. It will be a privilege to have their program join others pioneering the future for nursing education for a new era upon us all”.

To Become An Affiliate

To become a National Caring Science System™, Samuel Merritt University demonstrated to WCSI the authentically, deep-rooted and sustainable commitment to integrating Caring Science to transform and broaden whole person health and healing in its curriculum and culture. The university joins ten other National WCSI Affiliate Hospital Systems, and fifteen Global WCSI Associate Systems who have achieved such a recognition.

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