Concept and Origination
The Massachusetts Regional Caring Science Consortium (MRCSC) was initiated by Dr. Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN, FACCE, CHMT, Caritas Coach, and Dr. Mary Mullany, DNP, APRN-BC, Caritas Coach when, in March 2013, they posted an article in the state-wide distributed ANA Massachusetts Report on Nursing simply inviting nurses to informally and periodically gather together to reconnect with core values of nursing as a healing profession and to restore an ethic of caring in health care systems. They introduced themselves, the theory of Caring Science, and the premise that nurses struggle to keep the heart and art of nursing alive amidst the chaos of health care. The article invited nurses to join together to “transform nursing practice and health care settings with caring-healing approaches that center on caring for yourself, colleagues and patients.” Within two weeks after the article was published, over 70 nurses from diverse clinical, leadership, and academic backgrounds responded, including recent graduates of the Watson’s ANCC accredited Caritas Coach Education Program (CCEP). Consortium participants have learned from each other’s experiences. As a grass root forum, there are no fees to join; conference organizers and speakers are volunteers; and conference venues are provided by area educational and health organizations without charge. The list of interested nurses and other health professionals is now over 1000.
For the first two years, the MRCSC met every 6 to 8 weeks on a weekday evening for two hours of meaningful heart-centered informal participants’ presentations and group sharing of caring nursing practices and healing approaches that create caring relationships, environments, work cultures and healing patient outcomes. Attendance varied from small to midsize groups. During snowy winter months teleconference meetings were offered.
Transition to Conference Structure
In 2015, Dr. Wagner envisioned a new plan that would increase participation and enlarge the dialogue. Re-visioning the intent of the Consortium for not only individuals to share but also systems, the structure of MRCSC evolved from bimonthly short informal gatherings to one or two half-day conferences a year held at hospitals, schools and other institutions which graciously offer to host.
In this format, each gathering offers a keynote speaker and a time for sharing ideas and practical exemplars that promote caring practice. Programs have included project presentations by Caritas Coaches (graduates of the Watson’s 6-month Caritas Coach Education Program), as well as by leaders, educators, and staff nurses using caring theory and philosophy to guide practice. Registration is required for each event, but at present, keeping with the mission and vision that this Consortium be open and available to all nurses and through the gracious response of the hosting institutions, there is no cost to attend. Continental breakfast and Continuing Education units (contact hours) have been offered. These conferences are well attended with very positive feedback.
With this new format, seven conferences have been held to date, usually meeting from 7:30 am to 12 noon and hosted at different sites around the state. Each conference has been a success as nurses, other health care providers, and students actively learn together, participate in dialogue, and share about caring practice.
In-Person MRCSC Conferences
November 12, 2015 – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Hosted by: Department of Nursing, Dr. Jackie Somerville, CNO
Keynote Presentation: Susan M. Lee, PhD, RN, CNP, Senior Nurse Scientist, Founder of AgeWise
Keynote Topic: Caring Science: A Guide to Care Among Frail Elders
May 5, 2016 – Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester, MA
Calling Nurses to Reclaim the Heart of Nursing Through Caring Models of Practice
Hosted by: Department of Nursing, Robert Ready, MN, RN, NEA-BC, FAEN, Senior Director, Professional Development and Practice.
Keynote Presentation: Jeanine Young-Mason, RN, CS, EdD, FAAN, Distinguished Professor Emerita, School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Keynote Topic: Hearing the Patient’s Voice
April 27, 2017 – Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Worcester Medical School
Caring Science in Action: The Healing Power of the Caring Moment
Hosted by: GSN, UMass Worcester, Dr. Joan Vitello, Dean and Professor
Keynote Presentation: Stephanie Ahmed, DNP, FNP-BC Director, Ambulatory Nursing, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Keynote Topic: The Power of the Caring Moment: Relational Caring for Self and Others
October 20, 2017 – Elms College, School of Nursing, Chicopee, MA
Caring Science: A Framework for Personal and Professional Healing-Caring Practices in Health Care and Educational Systems
Hosted by: The School of Nursing, Dr. Kathleen Scoble, Dean & Professor
Keynote Presentation: Veda Andrus, EdD, MSN, RN, HN-BC, Vice President, Education and Program Development, The BirchTree Center for Healthcare Transformation, Florence, MA.
Keynote Topic: Stop, Look, and Listen: The Future of Healthcare is About Kindness and Compassion
April 26, 2018 – Simmons College, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
The Intersection of Caring Science and Current Health Care Challenges: Building Resiliency through Healing Relationships and Environments
Hosted by: The School on Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr. Judy Beal, Dean and Professor
Keynote Presentation: Annie Lewis-O’Connor, PhD, NP-BC, MPH, FAAN Senior Nursing Scientist and Director of Nursing Practice; Founder & Director of the C.A.R.E. (Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Empowerment) Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Keynote Topic: Shifting the Paradigm: Trauma-Informed Care Promoting Transpersonal Healing Relationships
April 4, 2019 – Regis College, School of Nursing
The Healing Power of Caring Communication and Relationships with Self and Others in Nursing Practice and Educational Settings
Hosted by: The School of Nursing, Dr. Diane Welsh, Dean and Professor
Keynote Presentation: Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, Chief of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at Partners in Health (PIH), a Global Healthcare Organization that brings care to poor developing countries.
Keynote Topic: Global Nursing: Stories of Caring
November 5, 2019 – Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Worcester Medical School
The Power of Caring Science to Create Healing Work Environments
Hosted by: GSN, UMass Worcester, Dr. Joan Vitello, Dean and Professor
Keynote Presentation: Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, (LL-AAN) Renowned nurse theorist of Caring Science; Distinguished Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Center; author of many publications; and Founder/Director of the Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI)
Keynote Topic: Caritas Nursing IS the Healing Environment.
Web-Based MRCSC Conferences
In response to the pandemic, the MRCSC suspended in-person conferences during the pandemic and has been offering web-based presentations. It is not clear when in-person conferences can be resumed.
The web-based presentations have included:
October 27, 2020
“Caring for Nurses Amid Covid-19: Mindfulness and Cultivating Resiliency”
Presented by: Christine McNulty Buckley, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHQ, NEA‑BC, Caritas Coach®, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
April 8, 2021
“Flourishing in the Wake of COVID: Caring-Healing of Mind-Body-Spirit through Reflective Practice, Mindfulness, and Personal Alignment”
Sponsored by: Endicott College and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University.
- Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN, FACCE, HMCT,
- Christine McNulty Buckley, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHQ, NEA‑BC, Caritas Coach®, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
- Danielle Leone-Sheehan, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Endicott College
April 28, 2022
“Healing the Caregiver: Sustaining Self-Wellbeing Practices in Stressful Times.“
Sponsored by: Merrimack College
- Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN, FACCE, HMCT, Caritas Coach®, Faculty Associate, Watson Caring Science Institute;
- Danielle Leone-Sheehan, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA;
- Christine McNulty Buckley, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHQ, NEA‑BC, Caritas Coach®, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University, and a Mindfulness Practitioner; Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher; Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher; Wellcoaches® Certified Health & Wellness Coach, and
- Rachael Salguero, MSN, RN-BC, CNEcl; Instructor, School of Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions
October 20, 2022
“The Philosophy and Practice of Caring Science: Sustaining Healing-Caring Relationships with Self and Others in Health Care.”
Sponsored and supported by: The Massachusetts Regional Caring Science Consortium (a Regional Consortium of Watson Caring Science Institute), MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA; and Endicott College, Cummings School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Beverly, MA
Program Speaker: Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, LL (AAN), renowned nurse leader and theorist of the Theory of Human Caring /Unitary Caring Science, presented a 2-hour presentation, What’s Underneath the Unitary Caring Science; Theory of Transpersonal Caring, Transpersonal Moments/ Micropractices.