Music and Nursing – What’s the Connection?

NursingJanuary 23, 2017

Music does more than “soothe the savage beast.” It’s also beneficial for treating patients – especially those in nursing homes or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

The "Music and Memory" Project


While music has been used to help patients since the mid-1900s, Johnson and Johnson’s “Nursing Notes” reports Arizona State University’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation recently launched a “Music and Memory” project to learn just how much music helps elderly and Alzheimer’s patients.


As part of the project, a symphony orchestra was brought in to play for seniors with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home. LPN Kristine Carpina was among the nurses participating in the project and says, when the music played, “patients went to a beautiful place in their mind.”


Soft music tended to make patients calm and relaxed, while more upbeat rhythms made them more active – even dancing. Carpina says the experiment enabled her to see a different side of her patients, which helped her and the other nurses develop a whole array of music therapy applications they could use to help care for patients.


“We are becoming very creative when it comes to finding solutions,” Carpina said about addressing the needs of her nursing facility’s patients.


Overall, the study found music improved the moods of nursing home patients…especially those with Alzheimer’s. And, as an added benefit, the music helped ease stress levels and promoted more positive moods overall.

The Duties of a Nurse


Every day, nurses are called upon to act quickly, many times coming up with innovative treatment options when facing potential health crises. Many times it has been said that nursing is as much an art as it is science. Based upon the outcome of this study, music may become one of a nurse’s “tried-and-true” practices in times of need.


A challenging but rewarding career, nursing is looking for caring people who exhibit both the technical and “soft” skills needed to provide truly extraordinary patient care.


Sound like a challenge you’re interested in accepting? Fortis Colleges and Institutes may be able to help. As one of the nation’s largest nursing education providers, Fortis offers a range of nursing programs at several of its campuses that can prepare you for a career in nursing. Visit our site to find a campus near you.


And, if you enjoy music – all the better!

Tags: nursing, Engage