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Nursing as a Science and Nursing as an Art


When speaking about nursing, the majority of the representatives of the general population claim that it is a practice. Nevertheless, professionals who work in this sphere know that it can also be both a science and an art that can be performed while coping with their duties. Nursing is an extended field the frameworks of which are ambiguous that is why the responsibilities of these professionals are often misconstrued. As a result, it is difficult to differentiate what should be done by nurses and when it is time to call for a primary physician. The effectiveness of this practice depends on numerous factors, such as interactions with other healthcare professionals and patients, the possibility to affect emotion and behavior, and a set of acquired skills. The art of nursing deals with the knowledge and skills of professionals and with their judgment while science is associated with the expansion of knowledge and its subject. This paper will discuss nursing as both science and art, focusing on those elements that constitute it.

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Nursing as a Science

Medical science is significant for healthcare because it provides professionals with an opportunity to find new methodologies and develop advanced techniques that can be used in practice. The major role of nurses is to assist their clients so that they obtain a chance to streamline their recovery and improve their well-being. The way these professionals perform their duties provides an opportunity to consider whether it is a science. In order to benefit their patients, they have to be aware of theoretical information, such as the medical terms, procedures, and treatments (Matney, Avant, & Staggers, 2015). The understanding of these elements ensures the possibility to offer optimal care. In addition to that, it is vital to be aware of symptoms and actions that should be taken to minimalize their adverse influence and overcome client’s illness. In this way, a precision that is a constituent of science is observed in nursing. Moreover, it deals with the necessity to turn theory into facts that can be used in practice. Nurses need to master their knowledge and skills constantly, which refers to science.

The scientific progress associated with the sphere of nursing deals with the practical assistance professionals require working with human beings. Nurses should always focus on their scientific purpose and be able to act creatively to provide the most benefit to their patients, which presupposes the implication of nursing as an art. In this way, professionals receive an opportunity to share their knowledge and improve the understanding of their profession. Nevertheless, it is significant to remember that all nurses have their own style of practice even though they follow particular scientific rules. The essence of art constantly emerges even if it is controlled by science as the possibility to follow facts and guidelines while individualizing all actions is present.

Nurses work with people and have to deal with associated biases. However, they are able to focus on the illness objectively without being confused by human experiences (Wu & Zhang, 2014). Their practice is associated with emotions and stress that tend to prevent professionals from performing their duties decently. Still, nurses successfully overcome numerous challenges and develop proactive approaches that allow them to manage their job accurately following a well-planned methodology.

Nursing is performed according to a strategic approach that makes it possible for professionals to enhance their practice in the framework of their profession and science. Nurse theorists, for instance, can contribute to the field and academic knowledge as they reveal critical information regarding nursing practices. New studies are constantly conducted in order to obtain additional information and introduce advanced methods and techniques.

In this way, it cannot be denied that nursing should be discussed as a science that requires professionals who operate in this sphere to understand medical terms and procedures. In practice, a physician treats symptoms in a client diagnosed with diabetes while a nurse who works with this patient and is supervised by a doctor can improve his/her condition through the provision of food that stabilizes blood sugar. In this case, nursing as a science deals with the professional’s knowledge of glucose effects.

Nursing as an Art

Nursing should be treated as an art because it deals with the professional’s ability to improve the way they perceive care delivery, revealing their performance of nursing practices (Tirado, 2016). This fact was revealed by Florence Nightingale who stated that “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit?” (Ward, 2016, p. 383). Nursing is targeted at the possibility to alter situation so that they bring advantageous changes to patient’s health. This very sphere is believed to have three major components of an art (Walji-Jivraj & Schwind, 2017):

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  1. Product. Nursing is targeted at the enhanced operation of a patient. It is not critical to focus on any observable outcomes in this perspective.
  2. Process. Nurses need to perform numerous action in order to reach their endpoint. They initiate interactions with other healthcare professionals and with their patients, which requires an application of nursing skills.
  3. Medium. The client’s potential is targeted by a nurse. The art is to put patients in the environment that has a positive influence on their condition and streamlines healing.

For instance, when a patient who survived a car accident while his family members died is expected to obtain this information from a nurse. The police may also be willing to contact a patient to receive additional data regarding the situation and his involvement in it. A nurse is supposed to provide her assistance all this time. The way she interacts with a client is an artistic process because the professional is to find a common language with this particular individual and assist him not only during the recovery process but also when dealing with this stressful situations so that they have a minimal negative influence on his well-being. In this way, nursing appears to be an art that allows professionals to administer care effectively and to support a patient when one faces issues during this process.


On the basis of the discussed information, it is possible to claim that nursing practice consists of the elements of both a science and an art. The improvement of nursing technology and education requires the combination of scientific facts and artistic approaches. When providing care, professionals need to follow the rules and guidelines, performing them in an individualized way. The very interaction between nurses and their patients is an art that allows offering the best possible customized care. Considering science, nurses are to be accurate and have enough knowledge to treat their clients, such as the understanding of changing environments, medical terms and procedures, illnesses and their symptoms.


Matney, S., Avant, K., & Staggers, N. (2015). Toward an understanding of wisdom in nursing. OJIN, 21(1), 9.

Tirado, E. (2016). Exploring the art of nursing and its influence on patient satisfaction in acute care settings. Honors in the Major Theses, 92, 1-34.

Walji-Jivraj, N., & Schwind, J. (2017). Nurses’ experience of creating an artistic instrument as a form of professional development: An arts-informed narrative inquiry. International Practice Development Journal, 7(1), 1-18.

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

Wu, X., & Zhang, L. (2014). Enhancing the nursing discipline and developing nursing science in China. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1(4), 325-329.

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