Nursing Process and Clinical Decision Making Essay

1519 Words Jan 26th, 2007 7 Pages
Nursing Process and Clinical Decision-Making
The nursing professional faces a myriad of decisions on a daily basis. The effectiveness of the decision-making process is crucial to ensuring positive outcomes in the clinical setting. If the nursing process is misunderstood or misapplied to the decision-making process by a failure to use critical thinking skills, the results can be catastrophic to the anticipated outcomes. Furthermore, an immaturity in critical thinking may influence decisions because of insufficient knowledge and experience. This paper will explore the role of critical thinking and the nursing process in making clinical decisions. Additionally, clinical maturity will be addressed as a key component of critical thinking
…show more content…
As stated above, data must be filtered through prior knowledge and experience which only come through time and hard work. Just as a baseball player may have some natural ability to play the game, he can only attain proficiency through learning the game and practice. The same principle is true in the nursing profession. As the nurse increases in experience and knowledge, the lenses of prior knowledge and experience begin to sharpen the focus on the data collected and the possible conclusions become at once narrower and broader: narrower in the sense that many considerations can be quickly eliminated; broader in the sense that new possibilities can now be considered that may not have been previously evident.
The journey to gain this knowledge and experience has been mapped out by Benner in her book, From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Benner applies the Dreyfus model of skills acquisition to delineate a series sequential phases through which a nurse must pass to attain the highest degree of nursing expertise. The stages are novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. As the nurse passes through each stage, the base knowledge and experience grows equipping the nurse with sharper honed instruments that can be applied to the critical thinking process. (Benner, 1984)
To illustrate how a nurse in each stage may think and

Related Documents