Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 17, 2023

Engaging the creative heArts of nurse educators: a novel conceptual model

  • Jackie A. Hartigan-Rogers EMAIL logo and Paula d’Eon



Nurse educators are increasingly challenged in preparing future nurses to be creative thinkers. The purpose of this innovative quality improvement initiative is to share nursing students’ interpretations of the value arts-based pedagogy (ABP) brings to their nursing practice.


Braun and Clarke’s approach to thematic analysis was utilized to identify and report patterns of ideas within learners’ interpretations of engaging in an ABP assignment.


The analysis of students’ interpretations led to the creation of a novel conceptual model to encourage and support nurse educators in the use of innovative ABP approaches.


ABP can be seamlessly integrated within teaching and learning methodologies to cultivate meaningful student learning.

Implications for international audience

The intent of the conceptual model is to encourage and support nurse educators in the use of innovative ABP approaches designed for engaging nursing students in active, creative, and challenging learning environments.

Corresponding author: Jackie A. Hartigan-Rogers, Dalhousie University School of Nursing, Halifax, Canada, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.


1. LaManna, J, Guido-Sanz, F, Anderson, M, Weiss, JA, Blackwell, CW. Teaching diagnostic reasoning to advanced practice nurses: positives and negatives. Clin Simulat Nurs 2019;26:24–31. in Google Scholar

2. Moorman, M. The meaning of visual thinking strategies for nursing students. Humanities 2015;4:748–59. in Google Scholar

3. Rieger, KL, Chernomas, WM, McMillan, DE, Morin, FL. The arts as a catalyst for learning with undergraduate nursing students: findings from a constructivist grounded theory study. Arts Health 2020;12:250–69. in Google Scholar PubMed

4. Rieger, KL, Chernomas, WM, McMillan, DE, Morin, FL, Demczuk, L. Effectiveness and experience of arts-based pedagogy among undergraduate nursing students a mixed methods systematic review. JBI Database Syst Rev Implement Rep 2016;14:139–239. in Google Scholar PubMed

5. Nguyen, M, Miranda, J, Lapum, J, Donald, F. Arts-based learning: a new approach to nursing education using andragogy. J Nurs Educ 2016;55:407–10. in Google Scholar PubMed

6. Raber, AM, Vermeesch, A. Participatory arts-based pedagogy in baccalaureate nursing education. Nurs Educ Perspect 2022;43:51–2. in Google Scholar PubMed

7. Mitzova-Vladinov, G, Torrents, H. Do you see what I see? The role of visual arts in health care education. J Continuing Educ Nurs 2020;51:367–70. in Google Scholar PubMed

8. Nicol, J, Pocock, M. Memento Mori: can art assist student nurses to explore death and dying? A qualitative study. Nurse Educ Today 2020;89:1–5. in Google Scholar PubMed

9. Obara, S, Perry, B, Janzen, KJ, Edwards, M. Using arts-based pedagogy to enrich nursing education. Teach Learn Nurs 2022;17:113–20. in Google Scholar

10. Rieger, KL, Mitchell, KM, Bolianatz, J, Rabbani, R, Harder, N, Balneaves, LG, et al.. Evaluating the impact of an arts-based multimedia knowledge translation assignment on undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Today 2021;105:1–10. in Google Scholar PubMed

11. Carper, B. Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. Adv Nurs Sci 1978;1:13–23. in Google Scholar PubMed

12. Hydo, SK, Marcyjanik, DL, Zorn, CR, Hooper, NM. Art as a scaffolding teaching strategy in nursing education. Int J Nurs Educ Scholarsh 2007;4:1–13. in Google Scholar PubMed

13. Swift, A, Twycross, A. Using ways of knowing in nursing to develop educational strategies that support knowledge mobilization. Paediatr Neonatal Pain 2020;2:139–47. in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

14. Thresher, K, Boreham, L, Scallan, S, Fletcher, P, Owen, C, Smith, L. Exploring art with foundation doctors: reflecting on clinical experience. Educ Prim Care 2013;24:212–5.Search in Google Scholar

15. Rieger, KL, Chernomas, WM. Arts-based learning: analysis of the concept for nursing education. Int J Nurs Educ Scholarsh 2013;10:1–10. in Google Scholar PubMed

16. Jack, K. Putting the words ‘I am sad’, just doesn’t quite cut it sometimes”: the use of art to promote emotional awareness in nursing students. Nurse Educ Today 2012;32:811–6. in Google Scholar PubMed

17. Housen, A. Aesthetic thought, critical thinking and transfer. Arts Learn Res J 2002;18:99–132.Search in Google Scholar

18. Casey, B. Arts-based inquiry in nursing education. Contemp Nurse 2009;32:69–82. in Google Scholar PubMed

19. Frei, J, Alvarez, SE, Alexander, MB. Ways of seeing: using the visual arts in nursing education. J Nurs Educ 2010;49:672–6. in Google Scholar PubMed

20. Guo, J, Zhong, Q, Tang, Y, Luo, J, Wang, H, Qin, X, et al.. Cultural adaptation, the 3-month efficacy of visual art training on observational and diagnostic skills among nursing students, and satisfaction among students and staff- a mixed method study. BMC Nurs 2021;20:1–11. in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

21. Jasani, SK, Saks, NS. Utilizing visual art to enhance the clinical observation skills of medical students. Med Teach 2013;35:e1327–31. in Google Scholar

22. Klugman, CM, Peel, J, Beckman-Mendez, D. Art rounds: teaching interprofessional students visual thinking strategies at one school. Acad Med 2011;86:1266–71. in Google Scholar PubMed

23. Lapum, JL, St-Amant, O. Visual images in undergraduate nursing education. Nurse Educat 2016;41:112–4. in Google Scholar PubMed

24. Moorman, M, Hensel, D, Decker, KA, Busby, K. Learning outcomes with visual thinking strategies in nursing education. Nurse Educ Today 2017;51:127–9. in Google Scholar PubMed

25. Moorman, M, Hensel, D. Using visual thinking strategies in nursing education. Nurse Educat 2016;41:5–6. in Google Scholar

26. Nanavaty, J. Using visual thinking strategies with nursing students to enhance nursing assessment skills: a qualitative design. Nurse Educ Today 2018;62:39–42. in Google Scholar PubMed

27. Wikström, B-M. Works of art as a pedagogical tool: an alternative approach to education. Creativ Nurs 2011;17:187–94. in Google Scholar PubMed

28. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Natural sciences and engineering research council of Canada and social sciences and humanities research council of Canada. In: Tri-council policy statement: ethical conduct for research involving humans; 2022. Available from: in Google Scholar

29. Braun, V, Clarke, V. Conceptual and design thinking for thematic analysis. Qual Res Psychol 2022;9:3–26. in Google Scholar

30. Braun, V, Clarke, V, Hayfield, N. ‘A starting point for your journey, not a map’: Nikki Hayfield in conversation with Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke about thematic analysis. Qual Res Psychol 2022;19:424–45. in Google Scholar

31. Clarke, V. Thematic analysis. Part 3: six phases of reflexive thematic analysis; 2021. [Video]. YouTube. Available from: in Google Scholar

32. Lee, KC. The Lasater clinical judgment rubric: implications for evaluating teaching effectiveness. J Nurs Educ 2021;60:67–73. in Google Scholar PubMed

33. Sommers, CL. Measurement of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment in culturally diverse nursing students: a literature review. Nurse Educ Pract 2018;30:91–100. in Google Scholar PubMed

34. Tanner, CA. Thinking like a nurse: a research-based model of clinical judgment in nursing. J Nurs Educ 2006;45:204–11. in Google Scholar PubMed

35. Rudolph, JW, Raemer, JB, Simon, R. Establishing a safe container for learning in simulation. Simulat Healthc J Soc Med Simulat 2014;9:339–49.10.1097/SIH.0000000000000047Search in Google Scholar PubMed

36. Kisfalvi, V, Oliver, D. Creating and maintaining a safe space in experiential learning. J Manag Educ 2015;39:713–40. in Google Scholar

37. Pavill, B. Fostering creativity in nursing students. Holist Nurs Pract 2011;25:17–25. in Google Scholar PubMed

38. Kinsella Frost, C. Art in debrief: a small-scale three-step narrative inquiry into the use of art to facilitate emotional debriefing for undergraduate nurses. J Res Nurs 2019;24:197–209. in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

39. O’Flynn-Magee, K, Slemon, A, Mahy, J, Jenkins, EK. “In touch with my creative side”: supporting self-care among nursing students through arts-based pedagogy. QANE-AFI 2022;8:1–21. in Google Scholar

Received: 2022-12-15
Accepted: 2023-06-19
Published Online: 2023-07-17

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 9.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button