Art of Nursing on Display with Final Otterbein Class Project

Posted Dec 02, 2020

This fall, Nursing Instructor Christine Zamaripa was challenged with adapting labs and lectures for the Fundamentals of Nursing class, which was presented fully online. She was worried about losing the connectivity with students that in-person instruction creates, so she devised a way for students to do something a little different for their final project that incorporated both the science and the “art” of nursing.  

Rather than the traditional paper, the final project was to create an artifact — a visual representation of what being a professional nurse means to each student. 

Roslyn Quiao '23 final project
Roslyn Quiao ’23 final project

“So much our profession relies on past experience and instincts,” Zamaripa said. “We needed an outlet for students to express themselves and feel connected to the concepts and nuances of their coursework. The nursing artifacts project gave them that opportunity.” 

Zamaripa assigned each student to create an original work that visually represents their professional nursing identity.  

Sarah Midura ’23 approached the assignment with a newly discovered hobby: drawing. Over the summer, she began using her iPad and sketching app to relieve stress during unconventional semesters. With the nursing artifacts assignment, she could combine her two passions of nursing and drawing to learn more about herself and her profession. 

“We needed to think about going beyond all the definitions of nursing we had looked at in class because there really is no one way to define nursing. For me, it is about always being there for my patients and keeping promises to them. This assignment made me see those were the most important aspects moving forward,” she said. 

Students completed the assignment in a variety of mediums, including drawings, paintings, collages, and even poems. Zamaripa kept it open-ended to spur as much creativity as possible. She felt that set parameters would only decrease the level of introspection for the students. 

Savannah Gammel ’23 final project
Savannah Gammel ’23 final project

Having such an open interpretation of the final piece gave Savannah Gammel ’23 a chance to look at all aspects of nursing she deemed vital. Equality of care for all cultures and genders, social justice, and going beyond your own limitations were all represented in her artwork. She credits Otterbein with allowing her to see herself in a new light. 

“I’m even more excited than ever to begin treating patients. A lot of people are going to be looking up to me whether I treat them or not. I’m ready to make that impact,’ she said.