Date of Award

Spring 3-25-2003

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Ruth Enestvedt


Background: Research into the documentation of quality-of-care outcomes is pivotal to developing nursing theory, increasing the knowledge base of nursing, and highlighting nursing accomplishments. This thesis presents a researcher-designed, agency-specific tool as one way of describing and documenting the outcomes of caring encounters. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a researcher-designed tool in documenting the outcomes of caring encounters both individually and over time. Method: A descriptive research design was used to study the implementation of the tool. Watson's Theory of Human Caring served as the synthesizing framework. Results: Outcome tools applied to 34 separate caring encounters were analyzed for patterns. The findings were used to address the research questions and to clarify aspects of the tool in need of revision. The findings were also compared with Watson's ten "carative factors." Conclusions: The use of an agency-specific tool for outcome documentation would allow the staff of a nurse-managed center to document the effects of caring. The use of tabulated findings allows for evaluation of the outcomes both individually and over time. A transpersonal connection is key to positive outcomes and accurate documentation. Consistency between a theoretical framework and actual practice is crucial to the final documentation process.


SC 11.MAN.2003.Ackerman.KS.B

Included in

Nursing Commons