The Science and Art of Nursing

The challenge for nurse training is balancing the historical ‘handmaiden’ viewpoint of the nurse with theoretical concepts and scientific research (evidence based practice). Delivering empathetic holistic care and ensuring evidence based practice is delivered is a quite a challenge. What is the impact of national standardised practice, can one standard really be best practice across so many specialities and be individualised to meet the needs of each patient/client?

As the framework for nurse training, the science aspect is the priority at the start of training with a build up of clinical placements to translate this theory into practice. This is the doing part of nursing, through building therapeutic relationships, empathy and emotional intelligence comes development of interpretation and application in solving healthcare issues. The importance of preceptors and mentors to role model quality care is an essential social learning in nursing.

What about burnout, moral fatigue, bullying and where all this sits in the art of nursing? Are these potential factors to be addressed in nurse training, adding additional focus on the art of nursing, rather than just the science?


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Jasmine, T. (2009). Art, Science, or Both? Keeping the Care in Nursing. Nursing Clinics of North America. 44(4), 415-4

Doan, W, Fick, D, Hill & Kitko, L. (2018). The Art and Science of Nursing. Journal of Gerontological Nursing. 44(12), 3-5.

Vega, H & Hayes, K. (2019). Blending the art and science of nursing. Nursing2019.