The Art of Nursing Becomes a Celebration of Nurses

Tracey Motter, DNP, MSN, RN; David Hassler, MFA; Mary K. Anthony, PhD, RN


Online J Issues Nurs. 2021;26(2) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Although the art and science of nursing both complement nursing practice, the science aspect is most often emphasized. The art of practice, however, may best capture the essence of nursing. To recognize the 50th anniversary of a college of nursing, faculty, staff, and alumni participated in creation of a community poem, entitled "Some Days." As the COVID-19 pandemic brought public awareness to the contributions of nurses, the art of nursing was evident in the many ways that nurses cared for both patients and families. The reflective process took on new meaning, celebrating nurses with poetry and giving voice to the emotional demands of nursing. In this article, we offer a brief historical overview of the art and science of nursing, and discuss the collaborative process that led to the creation of the poem and its installation as a public work of art. This collective poem weaves together the reflections of many individuals, unveils raw emotions, and provides a deeper understanding of meaningful connections between patients and nurses through the powerful imagery of poetry. In our conclusion, readers are invited to read the poem, "Some Days," and share their passion for nursing by adding to this open community poem that celebrates the unique work of nurses.


To provide optimal care in today's complex healthcare environment, nurses must be knowledgeable, technologically savvy, compassionate, and caring. They must practice high levels of communication. The American Nurses Association (ANA) describes nursing as the "glue that holds the patient's healthcare journey together, a science and an art" (ANA, n.d., para. 1). Meeting the many challenges inherent to providing safe, quality, patient-centered care takes both scientific knowledge and creative art.