Kristen swanson

Kristen Swanson, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN

Kristen Swanson has had an incred­ible impact on patient care, leader­ship, educa­tion, public service and clinical practice through her contri­bu­tions to nursing science and nursing educa­tion. Her Theory of Caring has provided the founda­tion for hundreds of scien­tific studies as well as a theoret­ical frame­work for the nursing care provided at clinical insti­tu­tions worldwide.

Swanson’s Theory of Caring is based on the idea that nurses demon­strating they care about patients is as impor­tant to patient well-being as the clinical activ­i­ties provided. It considers and cares for the whole person and is the founda­tion for better healing and better care. Swanson has published widely, presented and consulted across the region, nation and the globe on her well-supported and very helpful theory.

Today, Swanson is the Dean of the Seattle Univer­sity College of Nursing and a professor. For nearly 22 years, Swanson served on the faculty at the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing. Her time at the UW began as a Postdoc­toral Research Associate in 1985, and she progres­sively moved up to Research Assis­tant Professor, Assis­tant Professor, Associate Professor and ultimately Professor and Chair­person of Family and Child Nursing, where she also held the UWMC Endowed Profes­sor­ship in Nursing Leader­ship. Swanson left the UW in 2009 to take on the role of Dean and Alumni Distin­guished Professor at the Univer­sity of North Carolina School of nursing and returned to Seattle in 2014 to step into her current role as Dean of SU’s College of Nursing.

Swanson received her BS in Nursing from the Univer­sity of Rhode Island in 1975. She went on to earn an MSN in 1978 from the Univer­sity of Pennsyl­vania and a PhD from the Univer­sity of Colorado School of Nursing in 1983.

Swanson is well known for her research on pregnancy loss in addition to the Swanson Theory of Caring. Swanson has published over 100 articles and book chapters and provided hundreds of presen­ta­tions and consul­ta­tions to advance the science related to Caring in Nursing. Her seminal work in the Science of Caring is having a positive effect on the care provided by nurses and the outcomes of patient care. Her work has helped many, many insti­tu­tions create a positive workplace environ­ment and advanced the profes­sion of nursing for all of us.

Swanson’s profes­sional achieve­ments and awards are numerous. To name a few, she received the Sigma Theta Tau Outstanding Researcher Award in 1984, the National Center for Nursing Research FIRST Award in 1988 and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1991. In 2004 – 2007, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Founda­tion Execu­tive Nurse Fellow, an advanced leader­ship initia­tive for nurses in senior execu­tive roles who aspire to lead and shape the future U.S. health care system. She is serving her second term on the American Associ­a­tion of Colleges of Nursing Board of Directors.

Swanson’s Theory of Caring has provided much needed guidance for the advance­ment of nursing science and for the quality of nursing practice in all clinical settings. Her contri­bu­tions to nursing science and her leader­ship in nursing educa­tion has improved the profes­sion globally and especially in the state of Washington.