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This paper analyses the role of problem solving in nursing practice including the process, acquisition and measurement of problem-solving skills It is argued that while problem-solving ability is acknowledged as critical if today's nurse practitioner is to maintain effective clinical practice, to date it retains a marginal place in nurse education curricula Further, it has attracted limited empirical study Such an omission, it is argued, requires urgent redress if the nursing profession is to meet effectively the challenges of the next decade and beyond