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The NSA is committed to advancing Caring Science in nursing practice. By offering a variety of programs and resources, the NSA is helping nurses learn about Caring Science and how to apply it in their work.

Caritas Coach Education Program

The Caritas Coach Education Program (CCEP), in partnership with Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI), is a unique, six-month professional development program consisting of virtual small group intensives. Through dialogue, collaboration, and caring literacy, the program prepares you to transfer knowledge to other health care professionals within the organization and transform care. This program was developed to become a model for an elevated advanced caring science practitioner, the Caritas coach, who embodies these principles, ethics, and ways of being.

Participants will explore Caritas consciousness and caring literacy through dynamic inquiry and collaborative, compassionate dialogue, preparing you to transform your personal and professional life toward more profound meaning, purpose, dignity, and wholeness. After completing the 6-month Caritas Coach Education Program®, Caritas Coaches return to their local facilities with new insight, wisdom, skills, and confidence to give voice and help translate and live out the theory and philosophy of human caring-healing in service for deep system transformation.

Caritas Leadership Program

The Kaiser Permanente Nurse Scholars Academy was among the first organizations to offer a new program to support our Kaiser Permanente leaders in partnership with Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI). The Caritas Leadership Program focuses on advancing leadership practices aligned to caring theory, increased personal mastery, and deeper study of theory-guided and conscious leadership practices. Our leaders are responsible for ensuring congruency between leadership and clinical practice teams by actively implementing Caring Science leadership practices and nurturing caring healing cultures across our organization. This program expanded “Quantum Caring Leadership” concepts integrate evolved leadership practices and exciting new theory-guided leadership models our teams helped to innovate and publish.

KP Caring Science Series

The KP Caring Science Series of 4 modules, is a Kaiser Permanente-developed program, that provides the core concepts as context and perspective for concrete leadership and interpersonal practices that foster helping-trusting-collaborative relationships. Mindfulness-based practices are interwoven into the modules, and participants collectively practice engaging in and encouraging caring-healing conversations, actions, and interactions with patients, families, and the community. The modules are taught using a “train the trainer” model, resulting in the responsibility for delivering these modules owned by local Caritas leaders within the medical centers.


HeartMath® is an evidence-based program grounded in the theoretical concepts of Caring Science. It is a resilience practice with or without bio-feedback tools to help monitor and lower stress responses, build energy, and develop enhanced coping skills. The HeartMath® tools combine conscious breathing and emotional self-regulation techniques that positively influence heart rate variability and behavioral practices to help individuals modify their responses in the moment and over extended periods of time. More than mindfulness practices alone, activating heart and mind best practices also improve mood, calmness, and sleep while increasing intuition and communication skills.

Check out this HeartMath® video about self-care and building resilience.

Check out the latest resiliency video, “HeartMath® – Kaiser Permanente Scholars Academy – Video – Care for Self and Member”

Illumination Series

The Kaiser Permanente Nurse Scholars Academy launched the Illumination Series in 2014, and it continues to thrive to this day. The title of this continuing education series comes from Dr. Jean Watson’s work on nursing’s moral imperative to be the light and bring conscious healing energy to the often-challenging health systems we practice today. There is no better evidence of the importance of “radiating light in times of darkness” than nursing’s incredible commitment, clinical excellence, and healing presence throughout the global pandemic. Since the inception of the Illumination Series, NSA continues to invite world-renowned nursing luminaries to present throughout the year, especially highlighted during Nurses Week. Past nursing icons include Dr. Tim Porter O’Grady, Dr. Jean Watson, Dr. Nelda Godfrey, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, Dr. Karen Foli, Dr. Sara Horton-Deutsch, and Robert Browning from HeartMath®. The Illumination Series helps nurses understand their responsibility and how they affect patient care outcomes through actions, words, and intentions. The NSA continues this year with this rich history of introducing our nurses to professional icons as our 6th series includes speakers such as Simon T. Bailey, Tara Rynders, and nursing legend Dr. Peggy Chin.

Healing Circles

The greatest physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing can occur in healing circles. Healing circles help us step out of ordinary times into a safe and accepting environment to explore our healing. Together, we can explore ways of deepening our capacity to heal, alleviate our suffering, and find meaning in both challenging and joyous times. We invite you to join us online or in person for whatever is on your heart today or yesterday. Our circles are small, confidential, and free of charge. Look to your local facilities for in-person healing circles or our event calendar for offerings.

Equine Leadership

Now in its 6th year, the Equine Leadership program was designed to provide experiential leadership development and team building. This program has grown and transitioned into a hybrid model since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. These changes allow participants to complete foundational pre-work remotely and then travel to a designated EquuSatori training center. Participants work with incredible horses and specifically trained faculty over a structured two-day period. Faculty integrate Caring Science theory and HeartMath® best practices, while participants work alongside horses and other health care leaders to increase leadership consciousness, compassion, competence, and confidence in leading from the heart.

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