Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Sharon Loury

Committee Members

Sandra Thomas, Sally Blowers, Katherine Hall


The art of nursing is discussed throughout nursing literature but research on the topic is lacking. The purpose of this research was to reveal experiences of the art of nursing. Nurses were asked to describe experiences about the art of nursing from their own nursing practice. This study was qualitative in nature and used a phenomenological approach to answer the research question, “What is the experience of the art of nursing in nursing practice?” The study was guided by the philosophical stance of Merleau-Ponty and the research strategies of Thomas and Pollio. Participants included nurses who had experience using the art of nursing to provide patient care and a willingness to articulate these experiences. With IRB approval, eleven nurses participated in the interview process. Participants had between twenty-one and over thirty years of nursing experience and a range of clinical experiences that included hospice, acute care, nurse management, pediatrics, labor and delivery, medical/surgical, mother/baby, intensive care, progressive care, outpatient day surgery, free standing clinic, cardiac surgical step down, outpatient hemodialysis, nursing instructor, neonatal intensive care, prison nurse, telemetry, school nursing, emergency room, hospital nursing education, orthopedics, post-op, chemotherapy, behavioral health, long term care, code team, and one had been a family nurse practitioner in a rural setting. Results demonstrate the art of nursing in nursing practice includes showing up, staying, and helping patients, connecting to patients, intuitive caring, and making a difference in the lives of both patients and nurses. Findings from this study confirm the art of nursing as an essence of nursing with implications for nursing practice, nursing education, and future research.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Nursing Commons