An Integrative Review of Expert Nursing Practice
Version of Record online: 8 APR 2011
© 2011 Sigma Theta Tau International
Journal of Nursing Scholarship
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 163–170, June 2011
How to Cite
Morrison, S. M. and Symes, L. (2011), An Integrative Review of Expert Nursing Practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43: 163–170. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01398.x
- Issue online: 23 MAY 2011
- Version of Record online: 8 APR 2011
- Accepted February 26, 2011
- Expert nursing practice
Purpose: To review relevant literature on expert practice in nursing to assess common characteristics across the breadth of nursing specialties and work settings.
Organizing Construct: An integrative literature search was conducted with inclusion criteria: (a) primary studies of how clinical staff nurses develop and demonstrate expert practice; (b) subjects from variety of specialties, employment settings, and countries of origin; and (c) studies of clinical staff nurses and not nurses in advanced practice roles.
Methods: Literature published between 1996 and 2009 was reviewed using MEDLINE and the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) using the key words “nursing,”“expert,” and “practice.”
Findings: The characteristics of expert practice as explicated across a variety of specialty areas of practice and international settings included the following: knowing the patient, intuitive knowledge, reflective practice, risk taking, and skilled know-how. Involvement and engagement of the expert nurse with her or his patients underpin these characteristics. Themes were illustrated in a star model of nursing expert practice surrounded by support and grounded in emotional involvement.
Conclusions: Expert practice develops as nurses gain experience in a specialized practice setting, reflect on and learn from their experience, and develop meaningful relationships with their patients, families, and colleagues.
Clinical Relevance: The findings provide an understanding of expert nursing practice that can serve as a foundation for efforts to transfer knowledge from expert nurses to less expert nurses in all practice settings to reduce the expertise gap that is now widening.