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Nursing as a Science and Art


Nursing is one of the professions in the field of health. Nurse practitioners (NPs) use their skills to offer timely, high-quality, and safe care to communities, individuals, and families (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). They provide adequate support to ensure more people maintain or attain optimal health. The wide range of roles and activities undertaken by nurses explain why the profession should be considered as a science and an art. These responsibilities can be analyzed from both a scientific and an artistic perspective. This discussion, therefore, seeks to present different arguments to explain why nursing is a science and an art.

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The Art and Science of Nursing Practice

Elhammoumi and Kellam (2017) acknowledge that nursing is a career whereby practitioners use theoretical frameworks to deliver premium care to their patients. The professional should examine the needs of the patient in an attempt to design desirable care delivery models. The tasks undertaken throughout the process will be informed by the changing needs of the individual or community. The provision of evidence-based care involves the application of different concepts, ideas, and theories. Such conceptions are designed in such a way that they can support the health demands of more people. This objective can only be realized by embracing nursing as both an art and a science.

Nursing as a Science

Nurses apply theory in every care delivery model. The profession is founded on scientific inquires and concepts. The use and application of science guide nurses to understand a wide range of fields such as chemistry, anatomy, pathology, sociology, and microbiology (Stokke, Olsen, Espehaug, & Nortvedt, 2014). These are scientific fields that should be taken seriously by individuals who want to take up various roles in nursing. The knowledge of these fields can make it easier for professionals to understand unique behaviors and health issues affecting different people.

The metaparadigms of nursing indicate that the surrounding environment is a critical determinant of health (Ward, 2016). The science of this profession expands this metaparadigm to explain how sociological, cultural, and behavioral attributes can influence a person’s health outcomes (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). The concept of a person is then examined within the realm of the environment. This approach entails the use of scientific inquires to design efficient models to address the diverse needs of every person.

The practice of nursing entails the identification and application of evidence-based ideas (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). Successful or competent NPs usually consider specific scientific thoughts that have the potential to sustain meaningful health outcomes. Evidence-based practices are usually developed through continuous scientific research and analysis. The move to support every kind of practice and care delivery using evidence is a clear indication that nursing is a science (AbuRuz, Hayeah, Al-Dweik, & Al-Akash, 2017).

Lifelong learning is a conception emerging from the power of scientific investigations. Nurses strive to improve their philosophies by identifying new concepts and practice-specific models that can support their goals (Elhammoumi & Kellam, 2017). The tactic equips them with new approaches that can sanction them to meet the diverse needs of their respective patients. Patient advocacy is another area used to promote the scientific aspect of nursing. Practitioners analyze specific issues affecting their patients and design personalized intervention plans to ensure desirable care is available to them (AbuRuz et al., 2017). The practice guides more nurses to realize their aims and empower more people or underserved communities.

The diversity of nursing has led to various specialties. This development guides and equips nurses with valuable competencies. Consequently, practitioners can serve individuals, populations, or families affected by different health challenges (Gerrish & Cooke, 2103). They can model their strategies in accordance with the expectations of the beneficiaries. This approach has heartened more NPs to support the welfare of different people.

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Nurses can establish teams characterized by different professionals, such as physicians and psychotherapists. The creation of such teams maximizes the quality of care available to more people. The practice utilizes scientific attributes and ideas in an attempt to support more people. Additionally, nurses take up various roles, such as leadership, administration, and training (Stokke et al., 2014). These specialties reveal that the profession is fuelled by scientific ideas and theories. NPs can engage in various researches and come up with evidence-based concepts that can be applied to improve healthcare delivery. Nurses must also be aware of various policies, clinical guidelines, and procedures defining the profession.

Nursing as an Art

The above discussion shows that the scientific aspects of nursing are noticeable and evident in every healthcare delivery process. However, the artistic attributes associated with the profession might not be easy to identify. The possession of adequate knowledge in nursing is what amounts to scientific processes (Gerrish & Cooke, 2103). The art is used as a guiding principle to ensure nursing knowledge is applied effectively to deliver meaningful health outcomes. This understanding explains why care delivery should be treated as an art. The strategy should be done in a skilled manner in order to support the targeted patient.

Art focuses on the best strategies and approaches that dictate the manner in which the science of nursing is applied to deliver the utmost care (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). Many nurses support the fact that the profession is a calling (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). This argument reveals that the career is similar to an artistic profession. This kind of calling guides practitioners to put the interests of different beneficiaries, families, communities, and patients first. They will remain selfless in an attempt to address the changing needs of their respective patients.

Caring is one of the core functions of the nursing practice. The process is informed by a person’s willingness and understanding of the working environment. Constant collaboration and association with the patient will maximize his or her health outcomes (Stokke et al., 2014). Caring is, therefore, a process of art supported by effective communication and problem-solving. This practice does not require scientific knowledge. A competent nurse will be willing to deliver timely, safe, efficient care to every patient.

Specific competencies possessed by caregivers are usually artistic in nature. For example, a nurse should be on the frontline to analyze and understand the spiritual, cultural, and religious attributes of a given patient or family. This understanding will guide the practitioner to remain sensitive to the cultural values of the family (Ward, 2016). Throughout the care delivery process, the nurse will be in a position to consider the unique demands of the targeted patient and fulfill them accordingly. This initiative is what informs the art of nursing.

Skilled nurses remain nonjudgmental throughout their careers (Ward, 2016). This concept guides them to appreciate the situation of a particular patient and develop the best care delivery plan. The portrayal of specific values such as love, compassion, and empathy supports the thought that nursing is an art. A caregiver who exhibits these attributes will ensure the targeted patients are willing to be part of the process (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). The strategy will establish meaningful relationships between the patient and the nurse.

As indicated earlier, nursing is a profession that is improved continuously depending on the concepts acquired and experiences gained by caregivers. Practitioners should utilize their insights from clinical settings in an attempt to tackle patients’ needs (Stokke et al., 2014). Since nursing can be described as an art, the practitioners will come up with new insights and approaches that can maximize the health outcomes of their respective patients.

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Competent nurses will offer holistic patient care (Duran & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, 2015). This means that they will focus on the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical attributes of the whole person. Throughout the care delivery process, the nurse will be compelled to support the needs of different family members. He or she must portray the highest level of dignity and love for the clients. Established respect is something that should occur naturally. The practice will ensure more individuals are willing to be part of the care delivery process.


This discussion indicates that professional nurses must combine the above fields to produce superior nursing philosophies. The artistic attribute prepares nurses to offer personalized care to more patients with diverse needs. This practice is crucial because the expectations and needs of clients differ significantly. The scientific aspects of the profession provide the required knowledge and skills that can be applied artistically to maximize the health outcomes of different patients (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). Nurses should, therefore, treat nursing as a science and art in order to develop superior models that can be applied in a wide range of healthcare settings.

Summary of the Paper


  • Nursing is a profession in healthcare
  • Nurses should possess appropriate competencies and skills
  • Nursing is aimed at maximizing patients’ outcomes
  • Nurses serve families, communities, and underserved populations (Gerrish & Cooke, 2103).
  • Nursing is an art and a science

Introduction to nursing:

  • Nursing is informed by different concepts
  • Practitioners should identify new nursing skills
  • Changing health needs inform the field
  • Different concepts and skills are combined
  • The goal is to provide high-quality care

Why nursing is a science and an art:

  • The field is guided by scientific knowledge
  • Science is the basic foundation of nursing
  • Scientific inquires present new insights to nursing
  • The knowledge is then applied artistically
  • Nursing is believed to be a calling

Nursing as a science:

  • Nurses use science to solve health problems
  • Critical thinking is guided by liberal arts
  • Knowledge in anatomy, sociology, and chemistry
  • Psychology and microbiology are critical for nurses
  • These sciences inform nursing theory and practice

Metaparadigms of nursing:

  • The four metaparadigms support this fact
  • The environment is a scientific phenomenon
  • Environmental constraints tend to impact human health
  • Nursing entails the combination of four metaparadigms
  • The knowledge results in effective care models

Evidence-based practices:

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  • The concept of lifelong learning is critical
  • Nurses use scientific evidences to deliver care
  • Patient advocacy and support are scientific processes
  • Nursing practice is based on acquired evidence
  • Emerging concepts are applied to improve nursing

Lifelong learning:

  • Nurses should engage in lifelong learning (Elhammoumi & Kellam, 2017).
  • The process results in knowledge acquisition
  • Acquired ideas and skills inform nursing philosophies
  • Nurses acquire new models for effective care
  • The practice improves the profession continuously

Scientific practices:

  • Nurses can take up leadership roles
  • Nursing has different specialties such as administration
  • Nurses are team players and critical thinkers
  • Nurse practitioners should engage in scientific researches
  • Findings are used to improve nursing practice

Nursing as an art:

  • Nursing should be treated as a calling
  • Every nurse will be driven intrinsically
  • Nursing practice succeeds when its applied correctly
  • Knowledge can only be applied artistically
  • Practice is guided by a human touch

Nursing values:

  • Nurses should exhibit specific nursing values
  • They should be able to act emphatically
  • Many nurses are self-driven and caring
  • Compassion is a powerful value in nursing
  • Successful nurses tend to be nonjudgmental

Nature of caring:

  • Nursing is informed by the patient’s experience
  • Patients will portray different experiences and symptoms
  • The care delivery process should be personalized
  • Patient’s needs tend to dictate the process
  • Skills and proficiencies should be applied accordingly

Holistic care

  • Competencies are applied to provide holistic care
  • Nursing should focus on the whole person (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017).
  • Care focuses on spiritual and emotional needs
  • Mental and physical needs should be considered
  • Inclusion of different family members is indispensable

Multidisciplinary teams:

  • The attraction of more players is important
  • Decisions are made by every attracted member
  • Physicians, psychologists, and therapists are included
  • The team develops personalized care model
  • Family members and relatives guide the process

Continuous improvement:

  • Care delivery skills should be improved
  • Improvements arise from different clinical experiences
  • Nurses should offer care in diverse settings
  • They should interact to acquire new ideas
  • A nursing philosophy should become a guideline

Concluding remarks:

  • Nursing is a science and an art
  • Theoretical concepts should be embraced by NPs
  • Lifelong learning presents evidence-based concepts
  • Researches can result in better nursing ideas
  • Nurses should always apply nursing knowledge artistically


AbuRuz, M. E., Hayeah, H. A., Al-Dweik, G., & Al-Akash, H. Y. (2017). Knowledge, attitudes, and practice about evidence-based practice: A Jordanian study. Health Science Journal, 11(2), 1-8. Web.

Duran, E. T., & Cetinkaya-Uslusoy, E. (2015). Opinions of nursing students on the art of nursing: A qualitative study. International Journal of Caring Services, 8(2), 308-316. Web.

Elhammoumi, C. V., & Kellam, B. (2017). Art images in holistic nursing education. Religions, 8(103), 1-18. doi:10.3390/rel8060103

Gerrish, K., & Cooke, J. (2103). Factors influencing evidence-based practice among community nurses. Journal of Community Nursing, 27(4), 98-101. Web.

Mackey, A., & Bassendowski, S. (2017). The history of evidence-based practice in nursing education and practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(1), 51-55. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2016.05.009

Stokke, K., Olsen, N. R., Espehaug, B., & Nortvedt, M. W. (2014). Evidence based practice beliefs and implementation among nurses: A cross-sectional study. BMC Nursing, 13(8), 1-10. Web.

Ward, S. F. (2016). The art and science of conscious leadership. AORN Journal, 104(5), 383-385. Web.

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