The role of practical wisdom in nurse manager practice: why experience matters
Article first published online: 12 SEP 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Managing an Ageing Nursing Workforce Issue editor: Rose O. Sherman
Volume 21, Issue 7, pages 964–970, October 2013
How to Cite
2013) Journal of Nursing Management 21, 964–970. The role of practical wisdom in nurse manager practice: why experience matters, (
- Issue published online: 17 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 12 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 AUG 2013
- experiential learning;
- nurse manager practice;
- reflective practice
To illustrate through the interpretation of one representative nurse manager's narrative how the methodology of practice articulation gives language to the ways practical wisdom develops in leadership practice and facilitates learning.
Patricia Benner's corpus of research has demonstrated that reflection on clinical narratives comes closer than other pedagogical methods to replicating and enhancing the experiential learning required for the development of practical wisdom.
Using Benner's methodology of practice articulation, 91 nurse managers wrote and read to a peer group a narrative of their lived experience in the role. The groups interpreted the narratives to extract the skilled knowledge and ethics embedded in the practice of the nurse manager authors. One narrative was chosen for this paper because it is a particularly clear exemplar of how practical wisdom develops in nurse manager practice.
Articulating and reflecting on experiential learning led to an understanding of how practical wisdom developed in one nurse manager's practice.
Interpretation of the narrative of one nurse manager illustrated how reflection on a complex ethical dilemma was a source of character development for the individual and the peer group.
Implications for nursing management
Describing and interpreting how practical wisdom develops for individual nurse managers can be a source of learning for the narrative author and other role incumbents who need to make sound decisions and take prudent action in ethically challenging situations.