A science and an art: studying nursing at ARU

Dan Qian

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing
Course: MSc Clinical Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

14 February 2023

As the birthplace of the world's first school of nursing, the UK has an excellent reputation for nursing education and research. I feel greatly honoured to be awarded the British Council GREAT Scholarship for 2022. I started my Masters course in Clinical Nursing at ARU's Chelmsford campus in September.

My time here in Chelmsford has been very rewarding. The campus is located in the city centre which makes it easy to navigate round and I love that people are so friendly and smile at strangers passing in the street.

The social value of nursing

I studied nursing for my undergraduate degree and have been working in a hospital in China as a qualified nurse since graduation.

My involvement at the frontline working in quarantine centres and fever clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic provided me deeper insights into the social value of nursing especially at critical times like this. As nurses are the guardians of health, we need to respect life and always prioritise the patient’s safety. This experience sparked my motivation to further my study in the nursing area.

Dan Qian sitting within a hospital with a face mask over her face

Why I chose ARU

The UK, as the founder of modern nursing and nursing education, would provide me a valued platform to advance my professional studies, and to meet with nursing fellows from all over the world to share and discuss the latest professional and medical issues in the nursing practice.

The MSc Clinical Nursing course offered by ARU is perfect to fulfil my study interests with the combination of both academic research and practical issues from the field. All our teaching staff are clinical experts with knowledge of the latest developments in the field, which will benefit my academic and career development.

I appreciate how educators in the UK deliver knowledge to students in a different way from what I have experienced in China, which opened up a new window for my academic study and career development. Students are always encouraged to express their own opinions and views and challenge experts from systematic research evidence. Our teachers are always willing to answer every single question from students with great support.

My first semester

There are two modules for the first trimester in my course, Research Methodology and Enhancing Care for the Adult Patient. These are two complementary modules, one focusing on scientific research and the other on clinical practice. The modules allow us to build on the knowledge, skills and experience we have gained in our work and develop critical appraisal skills even further. Nursing theory and research provide a foundation for evidence-based nursing practice, which defines the rationale for nursing actions.

Dan Qian standing outside a hospital

When working in China I was instructed to deliver care to patients based on evidence in my clinical work, but at the time I had little understanding of what is evidence-based, let alone how to apply it to clinical practice. In these modules I was taught that all decisions, whether in writing essays or making decisions in clinical practice, must be based on rigorous and reliable evidence, which provides us with a direction for evidence-based care.

Dan Qian standing at a classroom screen

The course at ARU emphasises the integration of theory and practice. For example, we had a case study for discussion in class on how to get patients to stop smoking. When I said I would say to a patient, 'You need to stop smoking because of your current health condition' based on my experience, my teacher advised that a good clinician needs to explain to patients why they need to stop smoking and learn how to help different patients to quit smoking successfully. This teaching approach, which connects theoretical knowledge and clinical practice, has benefited me significantly.

What I have learned

Dan Qian standing at a bookshelf within a library

Nursing is both a science and an art.

The science of nursing is the knowledge base for the care delivered, and the art of nursing is the skilled application of that knowledge to help patients achieve maximum health and quality of life.

By studying the Masters course in Clinical Nursing at ARU with the GREAT Scholarship award, I hope to achieve the goal that I set for myself: I will dedicate myself to the challenging and rewarding career of nursing, using the most appropriate evidence when making decisions at work and providing patient-centred holistic care to patients with a warm heart.

Nursing and healthcare degrees at ARU

Dan studies MSc Clinical Nursing at ARU in Chelmsford. Find out more about our courses at an Open Day, or read about the range of scholarships and bursaries we offer at ARU.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.