The Art & Science of Nursing

The art of nursing is a holistic view, which looks at caring for all facets of that individual whether they are mental, physical or spiritual. On top of this, the art of nursing also takes into account the nurses ability to remaining open-minded towards patients and the important relationships nurses’ hold with clients.
The goal of nursing is to “.assist persons to achieve their optimum level of health in situations of normal health, illness, injury, or in the process of dying” (Canadian Nurses Association, 1998, pp.8). This goal can only be achieved in the nursing profession by the coming together of the two segments of health care; science and art. Nursing as a science involves the technological and research aspect of patient care. The art of nursing is a more holistic view and takes into account all the patients mental, physical and spiritual needs. This includes things like caring, being open-minded and having a strong relationship with the client no matter what differences in perspective or point of view lay between the nurse and the client.

Nursing as a Science.
Knowledge is fundamental to the growth of any discipline. Talbot’s work (as cited in Potter, Perry, 1997) states that knowledge is information, and discovery is the creative process of obtaining new knowledge. A body of knowledge is the collaboration of ideas, which included in the knowledge base, our research, and experience. Research is used to scientifically prove theories as well as to discredit others. Personal experience may bring upon research and increase the body of knowledge.

An example of this can be seen with common dish soap and a catheter. Through personal experience and research, it has been found that using dish detergent to clean the apparatus can be equally as effective as using a much more costly disinfectant. Since nurses have started to do research, they have begun to build their own body of knowledge, instead of borrowing that knowledge from others (Leddy, 1998). Research and experience in the nursing field have allowed for the evolution of the profession. The more knowledge base an idea has, the more support it will receive.

According to Meleis (1997), nurses use knowledge of human responses to health and illness in the healing process. Meleis (1997) states that the nurses use this knowledge in the promoting or health, to help in caring for the patient, to help the patient learn to care for themselves and to help empower the client, teaching them to use available resources.

Research in any profession is important in the development of future ideas and techniques. According to Phillips (2000) interpretation of Rogers, nurse researchers need to look into the unknown aspects of nursing to create unifies principles and theories, which are essential to education as well as in practice. Philips (2000) also discusses Rogers idea that “nursing science is the prerequisite to the process of nursing” (Philips, 2000, pp198). This statement shows the importance of scientific research and the necessity for it before nursing science, knowledge, or practice can benefit.

Nursing as an art

The art of nursing and holistic health are very closely related. They both consider what is best for all aspects of the patients’ health, and are directed at specifically helping to solve those problems. According to Potter and Perry (1997), holistic health is becoming so popular because of the belief that comfort affects personal physical and mental functionality, and are considered to be an important part in an individuals wellness.

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