The Caring Model®

Caring Through Being


The Caring Model® (TCM) was first introduced in 1998 by its founder, Dr. Sharon K. Dingman, as a way to improve a set of patient satisfaction indicators with nursing care in a 49-bed acute care hospital. TCM® quickly spread into other acute care hospitals who were striving to understand and implement nurse caring behaviors measured by patient satisfaction surveys.

TCM® is a partnership. Satisfaction is like storytelling, it is an art. All organizations have a mission, vision, values – a story to tell –, but can no longer rely on the tried-true methods of customer service that worked 10-15 years ago. Organizations must skillfully – meaningfully – serve patients and their families throughout every encounter, every day to provide them exactly what they need, when they need it. When this is accomplished, the patient and their family will tell the story to their friends and associates.

By 2000, Dr. Dingman further defined caring by the nurse as “an intentional presence, personal ownership, and respect for human dignity, a partnership, and a matter of integrity that is heartfelt, given and received between individuals.”

In the years that followed, TCM®’s five distinctive caring behaviors soon became a way for nurses and other caregivers to establish their entry into the patient experience through communications as a guest in a well-managed approach upon entering the patient’s room.

The five caring behaviors include:

  • 1. Introducing oneself to the patient and their family and explaining one’s role in the patient’s care
  • 2. Calling the patient by his or her preferred name
  • 3. Being seated at the bedside to discuss the patients care plan
  • 4. The use of touch, a hand shake and a thank you
  • 5. Utilizing the mission and values of the organization to guide the delivery of care

These five behaviors continue to provide core elements of caring and provide behavioral cues for the caring relationship between the nurse (caregiver) and the patient and family.

In 2012, Dr. Dingman developed four education modules for nurses and other caregivers on how nurse caring, compassion, and communication influences patients and families’ perceptions and satisfaction with care delivered.


Sharon K. Dingman, DNP, MS, BSN, RN

Sharon K. Dingman, DNP, MS, BSN, RN has an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Weber State University, a master’s degree in nursing administration from Brigham Young University, and a doctorate degree from Texas Christian University. She is a former vice president of nursing and is the founder and president of The Caring Model® (TCM), LLC serving as senior consultant. She is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in human caring and compassion associated with patient-family-nurse satisfaction outcomes.

Dr. Dingman’s master’s thesis included the creation and successful implementation of TCM® to improve patient satisfaction in many acute care hospitals in the United States, England and Denmark. Her DNP evidence-based project included four education modules to review nurse caring diminutions, perceptions, and communication designed to improve patient perceptions of nurse caring.

Dr. Dingman has more than 30 years of professional nursing practice. She applies her vast nursing executive leadership experience as an educator, consultant, presenter and in publications to assist health care organizations improve the patient-experience associated with value-based outcomes and reimbursement.

Dr. Dingman is currently an Assistant Professor in the DNP Nursing Program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions teaching leadership and theory. She serves as elected in numerous nursing professional organizations, and currently as an appointed member of the Utah State Board of Nursing Education Peer Committee. Her focus includes inter-professional practice and education among healthcare professionals.

Dr. Dingman is a board member of Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders and Utah Nurses Association.

Sharon is also an assistant professor at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Find Sharon on Research Gate.



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Dr. Sharon Dingman presented at the Sigma Theta Tau 43rd Biennial Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 11th, 2015. For more information, click here

Coming Soon….. Nurse Caring Enhancements of The Caring Model® (TCM)

Online educational offerings in the field of patient and family satisfaction with health care providers.


To host a The Caring Model® seminar, purchase module booklets, ask questions, or for general feedback, contact us here:

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