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Keywords:

  • reflective practice;
  • knowing in nursing;
  • expert practitioner;
  • habitual practice;
  • socio-political context

Over the last decade nursing has progressed from a reliance on empirical theory applied to practice to a recognition that experience develops knowledge that can guide the actions of practitioners. Reflection is a means of surfacing experiental knowledge, and students may begin to use reflection as their experience of nursing accumulates. As Carper was a key figure in widening that knowledge accepted as knowing in nursing beyond the empirical, it is both justified and recommended that her work should be incorporated into reflective practice. Johns has integrated Carper's work in his model of guided reflection and this paper briefly examines this combination. The main focus is on two further patterns of knowing: unknowing and sociopolitical knowing. These patterns are examined and the contribution they could make to reflective practice is discussed.