The purpose of this phenomenological research was to capture the meaning of caring as experienced by nurse managers during interactions with staff nurses. Data analysis was guided by the phenomenological method (Ray, 1985; van Manen, 1990). Essential themes of growth, listening, support, intuition, receiving gifts, and frustration were described by participants. Variant themes of touch, humor, flexibility, counseling, limitations, and competency also emerged. Interpretive themes of nurses’ way of being, reciprocal caring, and caring moment as transcendence were identified. The unity of meaning, which unfolded, is presented as a poetic expression. Implications for transforming nursing administration into a practice grounded in caring are presented.
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This article illustrates the transtheoretical evolution of caring science within complex systems from the discovery of the theory of bureaucratic caring, in 1981, to the emergence of the metatheory relational caring complexity in 2011. The theory of bureaucratic caring, derived from research, is the sentinel grounded theory in the area of caring and economics, and complex healthcare systems in general. Its tenets remain applicable to contemporary nursing practice. Other grounded theories advanced from the original theory, including struggling to find a balance, the paradox between caring and economics, relational complexity, and relational self-organization in workforce redevelopment, as well as professional and patient relational caring questionnaires are presented and discussed.