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JONA: Journal of Nursing Administration

December 2003, Volume 33 Number 12 , p 627 - 629


  • Marija Bohinc
  • Mirko Gradisar
  • Marija Bohinc PhD, RN
  • Mirko Gradisar PhD



  • References


  • Table 1

  • Figure 1

  • Figure 2

    Decision making is an integral part of nursing practice. It is a complex process that may be defined as a series of decisions, including observations made in a patient situation, evaluation of data observed, and actions taken to achieve the desired outcomes.

    Decision making and clinical judgment in nursing practice have been studied from several perspectives using various methods. Most of the research in nursing science is grounded in either analytical decision-making theory or information processing theory. 1 According to analytical decision-making theory, human decision making is based on a certain systematic process and decisions are reached via analyses of the situation. 2 Information-processing theory is based on studies of human problem solving. This theory is defined in healthcare as a hypothetical-deductive process of determining the patient’s problems using diagnostic reasoning. 3 Cognitive psychologists describe the various modes of human thought, ranging from highly intuitive to highly analytical cognition. Benner 4 used the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition in her studies of critical nursing care and conducted studies on the role of intuition in nursing decision making. 5 Information processing, decision theory, and intuition were the major theories used in this study to explore nursing decision making.

    Coble claims that nurses face a challenging time of transition in the 21st century. 6 Decisions made in administration, education, management, and practice will profoundly influence the profession for years. Decisions made during this turbulent time will transform nursing administration, leadership, and practice so that future challenges can be met.

    In a previous qualitative research study, Coble (unpublished data, 1995) developed a conceptual model for decision making in nursing ...

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