Illuminating the inner leadership journey by engaging intention and mindfulness as guided by caring theory

Nurs Adm Q. Apr-Jun 2008;32(2):117-25. doi: 10.1097/01.NAQ.0000314540.21618.c1.


Sustained, high-performance nursing leadership can be effectively guided by caring theory. While much of leadership performance is manifested by external behaviors, highly effective leaders are also grounded by internal work of self-reflection and growth. This article focuses primarily on the inward journey of leadership as guided by Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring. Key elements of the theory are interpreted within the context of the emerging, urgent, high-stakes challenges of the current healthcare environment. The links between self-nurturance and caring-healing leadership of others are explored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Empathy*
  • Health Facility Environment / organization & administration
  • Humanism
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Leadership*
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Theory*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Professional Competence / standards
  • Self-Assessment