Cheryle Moss is currently: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Nursing Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.
Nursing prioritization of the patient need for care: A tacit knowledge embedded in the clinical decision-making literature
Article first published online: 7 OCT 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
International Journal of Nursing Practice
Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 376–388, October 2009
How to Cite
Lake, S., Moss, C. and Duke, J. (2009), Nursing prioritization of the patient need for care: A tacit knowledge embedded in the clinical decision-making literature. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 15: 376–388. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2009.01778.x
Jan Duke is currently: Deputy Registrar, Zealand Social Workers' Registration Board, Wellington, New Zealand.
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 7 OCT 2009
- Accepted for publication April 2009
- clinical decision-making;
- clinical judgement;
- experiential learning;
- literature review;
- nursing assessment
Every day in clinical settings, nurses practise in complex and dynamic situations. Nurses work to achieve emergent order in these situations through nursing prioritization of the patient need for care. As direct research on nursing prioritization had not been reported, a study, using critical realism as method, was designed to discern the profession's embedded understanding from within the clinical decision-making literature. The research synthesizes a tacit knowledge on nursing prioritization of the patient need for care from key international literature (from 1966 to 2003). Nursing prioritization was discerned in both education and practice literatures; interrelationships between these and theoretical approaches were also identified. Nursing prioritization of the patient need for care was revealed both as a non-sequential decision-making process throughout unfolding patient situations and as an advanced skill of nursing practice. Increasing confidence with this skill is the hallmark of developing expertise.