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Towards an aesthetics of nursing


Paul Wainwright School of Health Science, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, Wales. E-mail:


Towards an aesthetics of nursing

This paper re-appraises the work of Barbara Carper on aesthetics and the art of nursing. It identifies serious flaws in Carper's original arguments and the way in which she and subsequent authors have conflated the concepts of art and aesthetics in nursing. The paper explores a broader approach to aesthetics and proposes a way in which a theoretical approach to nursing aesthetics could be developed. The paper concludes that nursing is a fit object of aesthetic appreciation and that aesthetic quality is a necessary attribute of good nursing practice.