Nursing, Its Scientific and Artistic Features

The world in the twenty-first century presents a variety of advances in multiple fields of human activity. With those advancements, higher requirements and increased standards appear, encouraging people of all professions to incorporate all available knowledge, skill, and attitude to become better in professional performance (Palos, 2014). Nursing, as a growing sector of the medical field, also encounters many challenges from this perspective.

A modern nurse is not only a specialist who applies his or her knowledge to the treatment of patients. It is also a highly educated professional with a flexible and compassionate personality capable of promoting health in the most effective ways, providing care and support for those in treatment and their families. Grounded by inaccurate scientific data, theories, and employing research, nursing embraces the sphere of work with human individuals where personalized approach and communication is vital, thus combining the features of both science and art.

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Scientific Features in Nursing

Any science is based on theoretical background and utilizes an array of approaches, techniques, research, and field-specific knowledge. Nursing as a discipline incorporates a system of medical theoretical and practical material, involves an in-depth investigation of all types of illnesses, their treatment for patients of different ages, gender, or at varying stages of a disease. When it comes to human health, it is only natural to underline the importance of the high level of medical workers’ competence in the field because peoples’ lives are always a priority (Butts & Rich, 2013). Moreover, the scientific basis of nursing becomes more significant when it is applied to severe illnesses, which require accurate treatment and urgent implementation of progressive methods of care.

In critical care, nurses have to apply their scientific knowledge about illnesses for proper treatment of critically ill patients with highly effective medications and procedures. They are expected to meet many requirements to succeed in the treatment and care interventions. According to Adam (2017), a nurse involved in critical care is expected to bear the responsibility for “delivery of high-quality nursing care” and self-care education of patients for health promotion, as well as to be involved in research and benchmarking (p. 36). Thus, a nurse should be trained in the practical application of scientific knowledge to guarantee the quality of performance and ensure patients’ life safety in the circumstances of severe illness or primary care.

However, it is important to remember that nurses work with human beings. Providing care for seriously ill individuals, medical workers have to consider the moral side of the situation. Critically ill patients need not only a more accurate application of scientific data in nurses’ practice but also humanistic attitude, compassion, personal care, and support (Boykin & Schoenhofer, 2015). For example, the delivery of negative test results and dealing with stress and anxiety of patients and their families require the personal involvement of a nurse and his or her readiness to adjust to a particular situation. Therefore, nursing becomes more than merely a science and includes some art-specific features.

Nursing as an Art

Art is concerned to be the sphere that mostly involves emotions and feelings. The professionals in music, painting or literature primarily refer to people’s reaction to a theme delivered in a piece of art. These people should be flexible and compassionate, able to understand the feelings of others, so their work achieves the anticipated result. From this perspective, nurses are artists who need to go beyond the framework of impersonal utilization of knowledge and skill because patients and their relatives appreciate caring and compassionate attitude toward them (Palos, 2014). The development of such patient-centered attitude values is art due to its subjectivity and personalization.

Enhancing the features of art in nursing might increase the level of patients’ health safety. Research shows that primary care and critical care nurses who demonstrate compassionate and supportive attitude toward their patients improve the emotional state of patients and help them recover faster (Palos, 2014). The utilization of a model of primary humanistic attitudes constitutes a framework for the art of nursing.

According to Boykin and Schoenhofer (2015), caring consists of courage, authentic presence, advocacy, knowing, commitment, and patience. Having a courageous personality, a nurse should show a willingness to be present in a patient’s life, helping and supporting him or her. Nurses advocate for their patients’ right to be heard and respected concerning their health issues as a priority. In this case, a nurse becomes a patient’s partner, “sharing alternative perspectives for consideration” (Boykin & Schoenhofer, 2015, p. 19). Knowing is a characteristic that addresses medical workers’ awareness of all the issues concerning their client and theie ability to incorporate that knowledge in service delivery with commitment and patience.

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Nursing demonstrates its features of being an art in health promotion, as well as in critical or primary care. Apart from being based on scientific data, health promotion demands creativity and an individual approach which refer to the art of nursing (Kemppainen, Tossavainen, & Turunen, 2013). Repeating the idea of reference to emotion in art, nurses have to find effective ways of information delivery to reach people’s understanding of the importance of self-care and prevention of diseases.

Nursing as a Combination of Art and Science

Regarding the presented validations, it is evident that nursing is both an art and a science. This sphere of medical workers’ activity combines a complexity of responsibility including “clinical nursing practices, consultation, follow-up treatment, patient education and illness prevention” (Kemppainen et al., 2013, p. 490). The simple application of treatment and care skills to patients would not be so efficient if nurses did not use their positive attitudes in work to help patients overcome their problems with health.

It remains unquestionable that faith and empathy combined with therapeutic interventions can ensure a speedy recovery and a higher level of well-being of the population in treatment (Boykin & Schoenhofer, 2015). Only a complex combination of an accurate scientific approach with artistic attitude may guarantee qualitative nursing care.


In summary, nursing practice is a vitally important sphere of professional activity. It primarily deals with people’s lives and has an ultimate aim to ensure patients’ safety. Undoubtedly, it is impossible to achieve such a goal without a substantial base comprised of theories, research data, and practical skills. These constitute the scientific side of the profession. However, in reality, nurses use science as a basis of their work, enriching it with some valuable principles of personal attitude. Partnership, support, compassion, communication, readiness to help patients and their families make nursing an art. Crafting these values, a nurse will be able to make a difference in the lives of people, deliver a high-quality service, and guarantee patients’ well-being.


Adam, S. (2017). The critical care environment. In S. Adam, S. Osborne, & J. Welch (Eds.), Critical care nursing: Science and practice (3rd ed.) (pp.23-41). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Boykin, A., & Schoenhofer, S. O. (2015). Caring and the advanced practice nursing. In L. M. Dunphy, J. Winland-Brown, B. Porter, & D. Thomas (Eds.), Primary care: Art and science of advanced practice nursing (4th ed.) (pp. 18-24). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (Eds.). (2013). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Kemppainen, V., Tossavainen, K., & Turunen, H. (2013). Nurses’ roles in health promotion practice: An integrative review. Health Promotion International, 28(4), 490-501.

Palos, G. R. (2014). Care, compassion, and communication in professional nursing: Art, science, or both. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(2), 247-248.

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