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Course Syllabus Spring 2002

Course title

Theoretical Foundations III: Esthetics, the Art of Nursing

Course number

Nurs 235, Section 2

Course description

An exploration of the aesthetic way of knowing in nursing.


Storrs 301

Meeting day(s)


Meeting time(s)

8 to 11 a.m.


Nurs 225, 227 or RN license

Instructor Information


Peggy L. Chinn


Office location

Storrs Hall 123

Office hours

Wed 11:30 - 12:30; Thurs 10 to 11:30




Visit my home page

Course Objectives


  1. Examine the usefulness, value and function of esthetic knowing within the discipline of nursing.
  2. Explore the experience of nursing as an art form.
  3. Analyze the similarities and difference of, and the common ground between, the art and science of nursing.
  4. Examine the concept of caring as healing and other healing modealities used to promote holistic health.

Philosophy of the Course


This course is based on Nightingale’s fundamental beliefs about nursing, and on recent scholarly investigations related to the art of nursing. Through my research, the art of nursing came to be recognized as the ability, through arrangements of movement and words, to transform experience from what is, to what is possible. The following beliefs and values are fundamental to this course:

*      Nursing is a healing art.

*      Healing is viewed as a process of movement toward wholeness, and is equally important for those who are well as for those who are sick.

*      The primary modality used by the nurse is the artistic, therapeutic use of Self to bring health and wholeness to a situation.

*      The knowledge that the nurse brings to healing art practice includes knowledge of the Self -- knowledge that comes through experiences of Self care, Self healing, and Self love.

In this course, we will focus on the art of self healing and self care, the art of healing and caring for others, and the use of art as a medium for healing. Nightingale believed that the art of nursing places the person (body/mind/soul) in the best possible situation for the person’s own healing powers (the reparative process) to bring about health and healing. The nurse as healer uses knowledge of the environment, and its effects on health and healing, to create a context for healing. Therefore this course addresses various approaches to bringing about a healing environment, and approaches to placing the person in the best situation for Self healing.



Students may select to attend class in Storrs 301 for all or part of each class session, or complete the activities for each week working on WebCT.

The first part of each class period will be devoted to learning activities related to the readings assigned fro that week. The second part of each class is devoted to a presentation that covers the topic and the readings for the following week.



  1. Use WebCT for all communications. For most questions, post using one of the discussion boards (not e-mail), so that everyone can benefit from the discussion concerning your questions. Send e-mail only when the issue is of a purely personal nature.
  2. All learning activities must be submitted by the due date for full credit. One point will be deducted for each day after the due date.
  3. Everyone must attend the final examination at the date,time and place announced by the University.
  4. There ordinarily will be no incomplete grades for this course. If you are not able to keep up with the course requirements, please consider withdrawing from the course and re-enrolling at a later date.
  5. Please review the UCONN student honor code. All students enrolled in courses at the University of Connecticut are expected to understand and honor this code.

Required Readings


Rogers, Natalie (1993). The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing. Palo Alto, CA, Science & Behavior Books.

Additional required readings are linked to the library Electronic Course Reserve, noted with each week's activity page.

Course Requirements


There are 6 components to the course requirements:

  1. Weekly Reflections. Everyone will participate in the course each week, either in the classroom (Storrs 301) or on WebCT, for a maximum total of 15 points. You receive 1 point for the first e-mail to Peggy, and 1 point each week when you complete the weekly "Closing" assignment "quiz" in WebCT. (See "Assignments and Exams" on the home page). The closing assignment is due within the week after each class. There are 2 make-up closings, one for each half of the semester.
  2. Midterm exam (March 6). This will be a multiple choice exam for a maximum of 20 points. You can take the exam twice, and you receive the higher of the 2 scores.
  3. Aesthetic Criticism Project (due April 3) for a maximum of 20 points. See the Guidelines for this project in "Student Tools."
  4. Healing Modality Project (due May 1) for a maximum of 25 points. See the Guidelines for this project in "Student Tools."
  5. Class presentation based on either of your portfolio elements. The presentation can be on the Web, or in class. Maximum points: 5 points. See the Guidelines for the presentation in "Student Tools."
  6. Final Exam: Maximum 15 points. See the guidelines for the Final Exam in "Student Tools."

The due dates of all requirements are shown on the course calendar, and specific information about the assignments is given on the "Assignments" page, and on the weekly activities pages.



The total possible points for the course add up to 100. Your final points will translate to the final grade as follows:
A: 93-100
A-: 90-92.9
B+: 87-89.9
B: 83-86.9
B-: 80-82.9
C+: 77-79.9
C: 73-76.9
C-: 70-72.9
D+: 67-69.9
D: 63-66.9
D-: 60-62.9
F: 59.9 and below

Topical Outline


I. January 23: Introduction.

*      Introductions of all participants

*      Review of Syllabus

*      Overview of self-care activities (handout on the "Student Tools" page)

*      Overview of nursing’s patterns of knowing (handout on the "Student Tools" page)

II. January 30: What is the art of nursing?

·  Chinn, Peggy L. , & Kramer, Maeona K. (1999). Theory & Nursing: Integrated Knowledge Development. (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

·  Chapter 9 “Aesthetic Knowledge Development”, pgs. 183-206. Rogers, Chapter 1


III. February 6: What is the art of nursing? (continued)

·  Chinn, Peggy L. , & Kramer, Maeona K. (1999). Theory & Nursing: Integrated Knowledge Development. (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby. Chapter 9 “Aesthetic Knowledge Development”, pgs. 183-206.

·  Rogers, Chapter 2


IV. February 13: How do I develop an aesthetic criticism?

·  Rogers, Chapter 3 Handout: Artistic Validity and Criticism


V. February 20: How do I develop an aesthetic criticism? (continued)

·  Rogers, Chapter 4 Handout: Artistic Validity and Criticism


VI. February 27: How is narrative used in nursing?

·  Maeve, M. Katherine. (1994). Coming to Moral Consciousness through the Art of Nursing Narratives. In P. L. Chinn & J. Watson (Eds.), Art and Aesthetics in Nursing (pp. 67-89). New York: National League for Nursing.

·  Rogers, Chapter 5


VII. March 6: Midterm Exam and reflections on your portfolio

VIII. March 13: How can expressive arts be used in guiding healing processes?

·  Rogers, Chapter 6


March 20 is SPRING BREAK – Enjoy!!

IX. March 27: How does the environment influence healing processes?

·  Rogers, Chapter 7


X. April 3: How are wholistic healing modalities related to the art of nursing?
Aesthetic Criticism Paper due

·  Keegan, Lynn. (1994). The Nurse as Healer. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers. Chapters 1 (pgs. 3-9) and 3 (pgs. 29-40).

·  Rogers, Chapter 8


XI. April 10: Meditation and Guided Imagery

·  Rogers, Chapter 9


XII. April 17: The healing power of touch

·  Rogers, Chapter 10


XIII. April 24: Music and Sound

·  Rogers, Chapter 11


XIV. May 1: Healing Relationships and Transformation of Conflict
Healing Modalities Project due

·  Chinn, Peggy L. (1995). Peace & power: Building communities for the future. (4th ed.). New York: National League for Nursing Chapters 9 & 10.

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