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Although the literature seems to suggest that the caring professions have embraced a view of the ‘whole’ person, there are some important weaknesses in current models and practices Nurses, as people, are often left out of the care equation To offer creative and rounded care, nurses need to accept all aspects of both their own personalities and those of their clients This exploratory paper argues that aesthetics and the arts are influential forces in all our lives, however, despite this, they are rarely discussed explicitly in the nursing literature The value of aesthetics and the arts to the nursing profession is introduced and explored through reflections on the concept of empathy