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The Delicate Dance: Balancing Art and Science in the Nursing Profession

The Delicate Dance: Balancing Art and Science in the Nursing Profession

Many people agree that nursing is both an art and a science. In order to maintain this dichotomy, it is important to find a balance. In such a manner, nurses often consider patient care an art that may enhance caregiving. This profession relies on communication, interpersonal skills, and compassion. However, compassion is an art that has yet to be studied enough. Therefore, it requires further investigation to validate healthcare as the basic value guiding the nursing profession. Also, nursing focuses on the positive, caring approach that needs to incorporate different theories and sciences such as biology, math, physiology, and anatomy. Therefore, nursing is a profession that incorporates both art and science. In line, as a part of the healthcare system, nursing is a union of science and art that aim at solving existing health problems in a changing environment.

Nursing as a Profession

When choosing a profession in nursing, one should consider the two main criteria: personal traits and proficiency. A person should not only want to work in the nursing sphere but also have a certain potential for self-realization. Therefore, proficiency is based on science, while personal skills contribute to the art. A nursing profession requires pronounced propensities to exact sciences such as chemistry, physics, anatomy, and psychology. This profession is characterized by high dynamism because medicine is constantly changing and developing. Health informatics technology, lists, graphs, and records are the instrumental base of the nursing profession. To enjoy this work, a person needs to be able to perform duties and love exact sciences sincerely.

The list of creative professions is wide enough. It includes artistic, theatrical, and other areas related to art. However, nursing is also an art because nurses must be creative and talented to succeed. In healthcare facilities, nurses are professionals that allow patients to have a healthy lifestyle, provide treatment, conduct disease prevention measures, and ensure recovery with the help of their skills and knowledge. Also, nurses are talented and creative individuals because they are integral elements of the healthcare system, including activities aimed at promoting health, preventing diseases, and providing psychosocial and physical assistance to all populations. In addition, they can provide care in healthcare settings and any other institutions and at home, wherever needed. Therefore, they have the talent to provide needed services to patients.

Indeed, nursing is both an art and a science because it helps promote health and treat people. Moreover, any doctor can only cope with the patient’s treatment with a nurse. Thus, nurses are responsible for the entire organization of healthcare facilities, which requires both technical and personal skills. A nurse should be able to measure pressure, do injections, put drippers, and conduct other medical procedures. She or he also issues prescriptions, referrals to tests and examinations, and fills in outpatient cards or electronic health records. In addition, nurses working at hospitals often perform the job of surgeon’s assistants during operations. One should bear in mind that graduates of this specialty are not allowed to independently determine the course of treatment. Nevertheless, they have appropriate skills to identify and diagnose various diseases and provide first aid.

The Science of Nursing

Nurses are much more effective helpers and assistants than physicians are. They are independent professionals who work by nursing theories, which are implicated in everyday activities. To perform these tasks, they receive an appropriate educational foundation, such as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing. Their education includes liberal arts and sciences that help them solve problems, analyze different situations, communicate, and think critically. For example, science gives them profound knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and microbiology. Many authors believe that psychology is especially important for nurses because it helps them understand the patient’s psychological state. In addition, this knowledge allows them to learn how to control their behavior in a stressful environment and overcome misunderstandings while communicating with patients.

Nursing activities are not limited to direct patient care. They make proposals for new legislation and participate in scientific and practical conferences and seminars. Their knowledge of different sciences allows them to compete with other professionals and share the best nursing practices and achievements in education and research. Sciences do not limit nurses’ professional development because they have to continue their education during their careers. Also, nurses are involved in changes in healthcare settings initiated by introducing healthcare information technologies. Therefore, they learn how to work with different devices and applications. For example, today, they can fill in electronic health records. Therefore, their scientific knowledge contributes to their daily activities and innovative changes in healthcare.

Next, science gives a broad range of academic experience applied in clinical practice. Their scientific background allows nurses to implement their acquired professional skills into everyday activities that enhance patient outcomes. Nursing knowledge also helps them educate patients about their healthcare conditions, promote healthy lifestyles, and identify the best therapies. Therefore, nursing competencies allow them to be equal partners with doctors. Their viewpoints are very important, and all healthcare stakeholders treat them according to their status.

The Art of Nursing

It is a common fact that the nursing profession requires individuals with perfect technical skills and strong knowledge. Therefore, competency is the basis of nursing. Nevertheless, society expects nurses will be compassionate, caring, and communicative. Many experts consider these competencies the art of nursing. Moreover, patients highly value such traits because they enable nurses to provide patient-centered care. Indeed, it is an art to demonstrate clinical competence, effective communication, compassion, and caring. According to Palos, caring and compassion are hard to define, but they are at the heart of the nursing profession because they enhance the quality of patient care.

Furthermore, compassion and charity for patients’ pain are among the main traits of a nurse. In particular, attention, accuracy, and responsibility go hand-in-hand. Many critics believe it is an art to show enthusiasm for own profession, a sense of duty, and the ability to be compassionate, kind, and loving to people. Also, nurses can inspire confidence in patients, thus alleviating their suffering. It is also a rare skill to alleviate suffering, endurance, and tolerance toward patients. As a rule, nurses are good communicators who are responsible for the results of the treatment. In addition, they desire to improve themselves in the profession and put patients at the center of their consciousness. Also, nursing requires a stable emotional sphere because nurses have no right to panic. On the contrary, they constantly show optimism, neatness, high psychological culture, delicacy, and tactfulness in their attitude toward patients. No other profession demands such personal traits.

A Balance between the Science and Art in Nursing

From the information provided above, it has become obvious that nursing requires a balance between science and art. In such a manner, a nurse cannot be excellent, having perfect technical skills but lacking compassion, and vice versa. Patients appreciate nurses taking all aspects of the daily routine seriously and responsibly. Also, they expect that nurses can find answers to their questions and understand their conditions. Indeed, they deny that a nurse can be incompetent in anything; even if one is, he or she can ask a colleague for help. Therefore, the art of nursing means nurses’ ability to ensure a patient in their competencies.

The art of nursing is based on personal traits, while science relies on technical skills. It is hard to estimate which one is more important. Quite the contrary, one is nothing without another. Often, art is needed to get to the science. Usually, an experienced nurse can weigh both equally because he or she knows how to think critically. This fact also makes the nursing profession a union of science and art. However, science is worth nothing if patients do not trust a nurse. They need to feel nursing instincts and trust her words, which are also an art. Nevertheless, the nursing profession needs science to treat patients effectively. Therefore, it is important to find a balance between the art and the science of nursing.


The nursing profession has great value to people’s life. It requires a special approach that borders on science and art. Nurses are creative individuals who must have profound knowledge of certain sciences. The science of nursing refers to the technical skills a nurse can offer a patient. Indeed, they are important tools since they are based on academic knowledge from different sciences, such as anatomy and chemistry. In addition, nursing is based on the scientific knowledge that helps nurses be professional.
On the other hand, nursing is an art based on nurses’ personal traits, such as compassion and caring. These two categories cannot exist separately in nursing; a balance is required. Therefore, nursing is a science and an art that aims at solving health problems in an ever-changing environment.

📎 References

1. Dewar, B. (2013). Cultivating compassionate care. Nursing Standard, 27(34), 48-55. Retrieved from https://journals.rcni.com/doi/pdfplus/10.7748/ns2013.
2. Lown, B. A. (2014). Seven guiding commitments: Making the U.S. healthcare system more compassionate. Journal of Patient Experience, 2(1), 6-15. Retrieved from https://jpx.sagepub.com/content/1/2/6
3. Newman, M. B. (2016, August 16). Cultivating the art and science of compassionate care.
4. Palos, G. R. (2014, April 18). Care, compassion, and communication in professional nursing: Art, science, or both. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(2), 247-248.
5. Tirado, E. (2016). Exploring the art of nursing and its influence on patient satisfaction in acute care settings. Honors in the Major Theses, 92. Retrieved from https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1090&context=honorstheses