Visual art dialogues were used in student nurses' education as a teaching and learning complement to theoretical knowledge of nursing care. An intervention group as well as a control group discussed what was characteristic of good nursing care. The control group was used to control for the effects of visual art dialogues in the intervention group. The study was undertaken at two university colleges of health sciences in Sweden. Data were collected from student nurses (n = 267) during their first year of study. The Wheel Questionnaire was used in the intervention group and control group. It measured three aspects of student nurses' perception of nursing situations: structure, the extent of emotional involvement, and motivation. The results showed statistical differences (one way ANOVA) between the intervention group in which visual art dialogues were implemented and the control group. Students in the intervention group, compared to the control group, were more structured, motivated and emotionally balanced when they expressed the elements most typical of good nursing care. They showed personal readiness in caring situations.