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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intuition in Clinical Decision Making: Differences Among Practicing Nurses

Elizabeth M Miller, Pamela D Hill
Journal of Holistic Nursing: Official Journal of the American Holistic Nurses' Association 2018, 36 (4): 318-329
28831858

PURPOSE: To examine the relationships and differences in the use of intuition among three categories of practicing nurses from various clinical units at a medical center in the Midwest.

DESIGN: Descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional, prospective design.

METHOD: Three categories of nurses were based on the clinical unit: medical/surgical nurses ( n = 42), step-down/progressive care nurses ( n = 32), and critical care nurses ( n = 24). Participants were e-mailed the Rew Intuitive Judgment Scale (RIJS) via their employee e-mail to measure intuition in clinical practice. Participants were also asked to rate themselves according to Benner's (novice to expert) proficiency levels.

FINDINGS: Nurses practicing at higher self-reported proficiency levels, as defined by Benner, scored higher on the RIJS. More years of clinical experience were associated with higher self-reported levels of nursing proficiency and higher scores on the RIJS. There were no differences in intuition scores among the three categories of nurses.

CONCLUSION: Nurses have many options, such as the nursing process, evidence-based clinical decision-making pathways, protocols, and intuition to aid them in the clinical decision-making process. Nurse educators and development professionals have a responsibility to recognize and embrace the multiple thought processes used by the nurse to better the nursing profession and positively affect patient outcomes.

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