Nursing Students Get ARTS-y at Annual Show

Nursing Students Get ARTS-y at Annual Show

Students created original works of art to encourage creative thinking, which can lead to creative problem solving and better clinical judgment.

Written by Beth Phillips

Featured works of art included paintings, drawings and sculptures each depicting aspects of communication and health care.

Featured works of art included paintings, drawings and sculptures each depicting aspects of communication and health care.

School of Nursing students hosted the third annual ARTS: Creative Thinking Exhibit to showcase what they’ve learned in class. ARTS stands for analysis, aesthetic, relevance, transformation and standards.

Juniors in the Traditional Undergraduate Program Communication in Health Care/Communication Competence class presented original works of art including paintings, drawings, performance and sculptures depicting aspects of communication, patient safety, holistic therapeutic care and improved outcomes.

Joshua Watson said artistic assignments come easily for him because he earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech. Using paper, Watson fashioned an elaborate “Road Map to Proper Health Care.”

“This project is representing patient-centered care and how the interprofessional relationships effect patient-centered care and how communication is the underlying tie that keeps the patient the focus of care,” Watson said. “What I learned was that it takes a whole team and it takes several components to make the patient the sole center of care.”

Education research shows that creative thinking leads to creative problem solving, then critical thinking and ultimately to clinical judgment. The School of Nursing aims to produce graduate nurses who possess early clinical judgment skills for today’s workforce challenges.

Karenia Nelson said it took her a matter of weeks to craft Styrofoam blocks to into an intricate project titled “Evolve: As Man Through Communication.” The piece depicts the evolution of verbal and non-verbal communication from primitive times to modern day.

“It helps especially with communication for us to better understand how we’re going to interact when there are certain barriers that we come across,” Nelson said. “Language barriers, there’s learning disabilities that you have to be able to filter through, and then also being able to understand different cultures, because it’s hard to help and aid somebody when you don’t really know where they come from and why they think the way that they think, so it brought everything together to make it visible for someone to understand.”

Although Nelson doesn’t have a background in art or architecture, she said this assignment encouraged her to creatively consider new learning about competency in professional health care.

“It was a great concept for the project to allow us to be able to allow us to express what we’ve learned through communication,” Nelson said. “It’s hard to portray that when you’re just talking and then to put it together to a visual aid to actually show this is what we’ve learned makes it a lot easier.”


Check out more photos from the ARTS exhibit on Flickr.


Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

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School of Nursing
School of Nursing

The School of Nursing began in 1979 with the development of the first nationally accredited Continuing Nursing Education Program in Texas.

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