Essay on Writing, Research and Teaching

Jeanine Young-Mason, RN, EdD, CS, FAAN is Distinguished Professor Emerita, School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she taught psychiatric-mental health nursing, writing, consultationin advanced practice nursing and qualitative research.

In all of her courses she utilized art, literature, drama, and film to help undergraduate and graduate nursing students better understand the human condition; to learn more about people they care for, study with, and relate to; and to get in touch with their own beliefs and values.  “The link between nursing and the arts is the fact that both are concerned with the human condition and both have a profound appreciation of the suffering of others.”

Jeanine Young-Mason in ”Kurosawa’s Red Beard: Teacher
of Compassion” CNS. Vol.5, no.1

“In her classes at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, clinical nurse Jeanine Young-Mason teaches the art of healing and the healing power of art.”

“The Interview,” by John Koch,
Click here to read the entire interview.
The Boston Globe Magazine
January 24, 1999


Art, literature, and autobiographical accounts of the experience of illness brings knowledge to the healthcare professional’s education and practice, knowledge that is unobtainable in textbooks.  This knowledge is, of course, a deeper understanding of suffering and its implications for health and healing.  It is about the valuing of that suffering and the intrinsic human need for compassion.  It is also true that the arts have a power to heal through entertainment and laughter, illumination and wisdom.

Young-Mason’s thematic research on the arts, nursing and medicine has been published in Academic Medicine, Clinical Nurse Specialist: The International Journal for Advanced Practice Nursing, CrossCurrents, Journal of Professional Nursing, Mobius, Nursing Forum, Nursing Outlook, a regular column in Clinical Nurse Specialist entitled “Nursing in the Arts,” and other scholarly periodicals and four books: States of Exile: Correspondences Between Art, Literature and Nursing, 21 Words for Nurses, The Patient’s Voice: Experiences of Illness, and Critical Moments: Narratives and Reflections of Doctors and Nurses.