Such experience (death of her husband) made a profound impact upon her personal and spiritual life that inspired her to develop a caring model (Tomey & Alligood, Jean Watson: Philosophy, 2006).
She completed a degree in 1961 at Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia (Biography, 2011). She later pursued her studies in nursing at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she completed the degree in 1964 (Biography, 2011). She also earned a masters degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing (1966) in the same school, and a doctorate degree in educational psychology and counseling (1973) (Biography, 2011).
She founded the Center for Human Caring in Colorado, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a professor. She previously held the position of Dean (Nursing) at the University Health Sciences Center and President of National League for Nursing (Biography, 2011).
The Caring Theory primarily embodies eastern philosophy with infusion of metaphysical values, the spiritual-subjective aspects of an individual that grows and changes, and a non-paternalistic approach in helping another person (Watson 2007). The eastern influence can be seen from the use of words such as cosmic love, consciousness, energy, transcendence, etc. Helping a person helps that person attain more knowledge and control, as well as healing of self regardless of the state of illness or health (Watson 2007).