Nowadays, many authors of specialized articles and books focus on the discussions of nursing as a form of an art and a type of a science. Some people find it necessary to clarify if it is correct to consider nursing an art and a science at the same time. However, these two perspectives are powerful indeed. Instead of searching for the grounds to support one of the ideas, it is possible to think about an art and a science as a possibility to improve nursing practice and help millions of people. In this paper, nursing will be discussed as an art and a science through giving clear definitions, explanations, and clarifications of nursing goals and nursing as a process to prove that nursing could be a successful practice that aims at providing care and protecting human health only in case people consider it an art and a science at once.
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Importance of Definitions
When people are asked about nursing, one of the first definitions that come to mind is that nursing is a job, a noble profession that attracts the attention of numerous trustworthy and devoted professionals in society (Hayes, 2013). Nursing is a unique career choice where people have to think of and promote the protection and optimization of human health and abilities, deal with birth and death, and protect human rights (Daly, Jackson, & Speedy, 2014). To clarify if the consideration of nursing a science and an art is possible, it is also necessary to define these two concepts and discuss the possible connection.
A science is usually defined as an intellectual or practical activity that is based on inquiries and promotes new knowledge (Parker, 2014). Before the Enlightenment period, art and science were mutual concepts. With time, they were separated because art was connected with human emotions, opinions, and individuality. Science produced doers, and art provided thinkers (Parker, 2014).
Personal freedoms, ideals, and individuality – all these characteristics distinguish science from art. However, nursing is not the place for divisions and distinctions. Nursing is the practice that unites best people with their best qualities and knowledge to protect human lives and improve health.
Nursing Goals and Peculiarities
Nursing aims at achieving a successful integration between theory and practice and promoting theory development through research and different sources of knowledge (McWwen & Wills, 2014). Nursing is the practice that deals with such concepts as a person, the environment, health, and nurse care (Stewart, 2014). It is not for a nurse to have enough knowledge to take care of people and help them protect and improve their health. It is important to understand what steps could be taken to support patients and their families and cooperate with doctors and patients in a correct way. Therefore, on the one hand, nursing should consist of certain tactical steps which include the power of knowledge and the importance of practice, and, on the other hand, nursing aims at developing human relations and responsibilities that fulfill this life. Such responsibilities and expectations make some nurses scare and feel tensions so that inadequate staffing and job dissatisfaction become two crucial nationwide problems (Robbins, 2015).
Nursing as an Art
Nursing has a significant power over people and their interrelations. Nowadays, it is hard to avoid such issues as multiculturalism, professionalism, education, and individualism. Nurses have to be trained and educated to provide people with health care and professional support. Such duties and expectations are not a part of a science. It is the art of nursing where diversity and uniqueness are appreciated.
Art is what unites human consciousness with the environment and the facts. Doctors deal with facts and investigate the environment to choose the best and the most appropriate diagnosis and provide a patient with appropriate treatment. Patients and families cannot influence this working process and have nothing to do but continue thinking and weighing all pros and cons of the situations and trying to stay conscious after the offered information. A nurse is a person, who helps to find the point for integration of the doctor’s facts and truths and the patient’s hopes and expectations. Nursing turns out to be an art that combines the reality with personal dreams. It requires much work, knowledge, and practice for a nurse to combine all their abilities together.
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Nurse work is a piece of art where humanistic philosophies and artistic practices are combined to support and protect people. As an art, nursing is based on trust of patients and the possibility to understand their emotional, physical, and other needs. It is not enough for patients to be treated well. It is important for patients to be healed, and nurses are able to develop such kind of help in case they consider nursing an art.
Nursing as a Science
Nursing is based on knowledge and the ways how people could use their knowledge to complete their functions and promote wellbeing. As soon as nursing is proved to be an art, it is not difficult to prove nursing as a science. Nursing should not always be defined as knowledge and practice. There are also many other aspects and methods that have to be taken into consideration by people, who want to succeed as nurses. Nurses have to communicate, share their experiences, investigate past results, and make improvements following certain rules and requirements.
An artistic perspective is not enough to complete this task because it is usually chaotic and free from certain obligations and orders. If nursing is a science, it should be supported by a number of rules and clarifications on how to start communicating and sharing knowledge. Nursing becomes a behavioral, holistic, and caring science where the work of many nursing intellectuals should be properly undertaken (Parker, 2014). Besides, nursing is the practice that certain restrictions and measurements have to be considered. It is impossible to provide care and use freedom as the main argument for making decisions. Nursing should be definite and strict not to promote chaos and diversity. Nursing is based on nursing theories and models. They cannot be neglected or misunderstood because all discipline-specific scientific knowledge could legitimate nursing claims (Parker, 2014).
Nursing as a Successful Combination of an Art and a Science
Communication with nurses and ordinary patients are not enough to comprehend if nursing should be regarded as a science or an art only. However, recent investigations in this field could be used to make a conclusion that the art of nursing could be developed and obtained through science and the knowledge offered for patient care (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). Therefore, nursing is an art and a science at the same time because these both characteristics help to create one powerful concept. Professional nursing has a number of goals. Besides, people are free to create their own expectations and promote the practices that could reflect human care.
Science and art turn out to be inseparable in nursing because they help to create the practice that helps people, respects their needs and demands, and uses theories and facts to improve the future. There is no need to make differences or comparisons between nursing as a science and nursing as an art. It is necessary to develop new approaches and thoughts where nursing could be defined as a successful combination of artistic practices and scientific steps. Patients expect from nurses professionalism and accessibility. Doctors want to see nurses as true professionals, who comprehend their duties and are ready to help in cases of emergency. Nurses do not have rights to choose between what they should do and what they can do, and that is the power of a science and an art in nursing.
In general, the investigations of recent research and the evaluation of the thoughts of different people help to conclude that nursing should be considered a science and an art at the same time. It is wrong to divide these two concepts in nursing because the removal or misunderstanding of one concept could lead to a wrong work or even destruction of another concept. The connection between an art and a science in nursing is impressive indeed. Nurses have a chance to achieve perfection in their job only in case they are able to accept nursing as an art and a science or some kind of scientific art.
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Duran, E.T., & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy. E. (2015). Opinions of nursing students on the art of nursing: A qualitative study. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(2), 308-316.
Hayes, R. (2013). Nursing is an art and a science. NewsOK. Web.
McEwen, M., & Wills, E.M. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Parker, J. (2014). Nursing as art and science. In J. Daly, S. Speedy, & D. Jackson (Eds.), Contexts of nursing (4th ed.) (pp. 39-52). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Robbins, A. (2015). We need more nurses. The New York Times. Web.
Stewart, M.W. (2014). Philosophy of nursing. In K. Masters (Ed.) Role development in professional nursing practice (4th ed.) (99-116). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.