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The aesthetic experience of nursing

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This article highlights the distinction between the ‘art of nursing’ and ‘fine art’. While something in the nature of nursing can be described as ‘the art of nursing’, it is not to be misunderstood as ‘fine art’ or craft. Therefore, the term ‘aesthetic’ in relation to nursing should not be linked to the aesthetic of modern art, but instead to a broader and more general meaning of the word. The paper's main focus is the aesthetic experience, which is treated in a hermeneutic way and elucidated from classical sources and the philosophy of nursing and from Art. The paper argues that the pioneers used the term ‘art of nursing’ in a metaphorical way to say something more specific on the nature of nursing. The term illustrates the nurse's ability to practise at the highest possible level of excellence.

Keywords: aesthetic; art; experience; judgement; nursing; values

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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