Concepts for Clinical Judgment

Module 05 Written Assignment – Concepts for Clinical Judgment

Module 05 Content

Top of Form

Read the article “Thinking Like a Nurse: A Research-Based Model of Clinical Judgment in Nursing” by Christine Tanner, which is linked below:

Link to article

In at least three pages, answer the following questions:


    1. What do you feel are the greatest influences on clinical judgment? Is it experience, knowledge, or a combination of those things?
    2. In your opinion, what part does intuition play in clinical judgment? How do you think you’ll be able to develop nursing intuition?

Additional sources are not required but if they are used, please cite them in APA format.




Title: Influences on Clinical Judgment and the Role of Intuition in Nursing

Introduction In nursing, clinical judgment is a crucial skill that guides decisions and actions in patient care. Christine Tanner’s article, “Thinking Like a Nurse: A Research-Based Model of Clinical Judgment in Nursing,” explores the various factors influencing clinical judgment. This paper delves into the influences on clinical judgment and the significance of intuition in nursing practice.

Influences on Clinical Judgment Clinical judgment in nursing is shaped by a multitude of factors, with experience and knowledge standing out as primary influences. Experience provides nurses with exposure to diverse patient scenarios, allowing them to recognize patterns, anticipate outcomes, and make informed decisions (Tanner, 2006). Through experiential learning, nurses develop a repertoire of clinical skills and gain confidence in their judgment. However, while experience is invaluable, it is insufficient without a solid foundation of knowledge. Knowledge encompasses theoretical understanding, evidence-based practices, and familiarity with disease processes, medications, and interventions. Without adequate knowledge, nurses may struggle to interpret patient cues accurately or devise effective care plans (Tanner, 2006). Therefore, the integration of experience and knowledge forms the cornerstone of clinical judgment in nursing.

Moreover, Tanner emphasizes the significance of reflective practice in enhancing clinical judgment. Reflection enables nurses to critically analyze their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and refine their decision-making processes (Tanner, 2006). By reflecting on past encounters, nurses can identify patterns of success and failure, allowing them to adapt their approach to future situations.

Intuition in Clinical Judgment Intuition, often described as a gut feeling or instinct, also plays a crucial role in clinical judgment. While intuition may seem mysterious or irrational, it is rooted in nurses’ subconscious processing of information gathered from patient interactions (Tanner, 2006). Intuition allows nurses to make rapid decisions in complex and uncertain situations, drawing upon their tacit knowledge and past experiences (Tanner, 2006). However, it is essential to recognize that intuition is not infallible and may sometimes lead to errors in judgment. Therefore, nurses must balance intuition with critical thinking and evidence-based practice to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

Developing Nursing Intuition Developing nursing intuition is a multifaceted process that involves honing observational skills, cultivating self-awareness, and embracing lifelong learning. First and foremost, nurses must actively engage with their patients, paying close attention to verbal and nonverbal cues, subtle changes in condition, and gut feelings that may signal underlying issues (Tanner, 2006). By sharpening their observational skills, nurses can become more attuned to their intuition and its implications for clinical decision-making.

Furthermore, self-awareness is crucial for developing nursing intuition. Nurses must reflect on their own biases, beliefs, and experiences that may influence their intuitive judgments (Tanner, 2006). By acknowledging their limitations and biases, nurses can mitigate the risk of intuitive errors and make more objective decisions.

Additionally, embracing lifelong learning is essential for cultivating nursing intuition. As healthcare is constantly evolving, nurses must stay abreast of the latest research, technologies, and best practices in their field (Tanner, 2006). Continuous learning expands nurses’ knowledge base and enhances their ability to integrate intuition with evidence-based practice.

Conclusion In conclusion, clinical judgment in nursing is influenced by a combination of experience, knowledge, and intuition. While experience provides valuable insights and confidence, knowledge forms the foundation for informed decision-making. Intuition, on the other hand, offers a rapid and intuitive response to complex situations, drawing upon nurses’ subconscious processing of information. By honing their observational skills, cultivating self-awareness, and embracing lifelong learning, nurses can develop their intuition and enhance their clinical judgment. Ultimately, a balanced approach that integrates experience, knowledge, and intuition is essential for delivering high-quality patient care.

References Tanner, C. A. (2006). Thinking like a nurse: A research-based model of clinical judgment in nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 45(6), 204-211.

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