Nancy Kelleher, MSN, RN, recipient of the 2016 Essence of Nursing Award, cares for a patient.

Nancy Kelleher, MSN, RN, recipient of the 2016 Essence of Nursing Award, cares for a patient.

Humanizing the care experience for BWH patients, their families, as well as for caregivers, is central to our vision of excellent care to patients and families with the best staff in the safest environment.

Guided by our care delivery system, relationship-based care, and as an affiliate of the Watson Caring Science Institute, we in Nursing and Patient Care Services have committed to building caring relationships as the core of our professional practices.

As nurses and health professionals, we bring the latest discipline-specific knowledge, skills and values necessary to grow reflective relationships with peers, teams, patients and families. This helps each person in the bed, on the stretcher or in the exam room be seen and known as a human being and not as a diagnosis or room number.

Caregiving practice that is current, compassionate and delivered with loving kindness generates trust, connection and safety for patients, their families and for caregivers themselves. It helps each one of us stay in touch with our own humanity, making our very presence the environment and the intervention for those we serve.

In the fast-paced and highly technical, scientific and quantified world of health care environments today (including our own), it is an act of courage to develop and sustain helping, trusting and authentic caring relationships.

Heart & Science, formed by Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for Patient Care Services, is one avenue for telling our collective stories, acknowledging both the technical and human dimensions of providing exceptional patient and family-centered care. Our current and future challenge is to offer the best of science and caring to the patients and families we serve.