One thousand words: evaluating an interdisciplinary art education program

J Nurs Educ. 2015 Apr;54(4):220-3. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20150318-06.


Background: Art Rounds, an innovative interdisciplinary program, began as a pilot project to determine if use of fine arts instructional strategies would be of benefit in health professional education. Specifically, students were exposed to fine art and taught to use visual thinking strategies (VTS). The initial evaluation of the pilot program revealed improved physical observation skills, increased tolerance for ambiguity, and increased interest in communication skills. More recently, the Art Rounds program has been expanded to an interdisciplinary elective course open to both nursing student and medical students at all levels.

Method: An evaluation of Art Rounds as a semester- long course was conducted by course faculty and compared to the original pilot program for differences and similarities.

Results/conclusion: Outcomes have demonstrated that the use of visual arts and humanities continues to be highly effective in improving students' physical observation skills and a powerful tool for teaching nursing students how to be skilled clinicians.

MeSH terms

  • Art*
  • Education, Nursing / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Studies*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects