Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Role of knowledge and ability in student nurses` clinical decision-making

journal contribution
posted on 2003-03-01, 00:00 authored by Mari BottiMari Botti, R Reeve
Little is known about the acquisition of decision-making skills in nursing students as a function of experience and academic ability. Knowing how experience and academic skills interact may help inform clinical education programs and formulate ways of assessing students' progress. The aims of the present study were to develop a problem-solving task capable of measuring clinical decision-making skills in novice nurses at different levels of domain-specific knowledge; and to establish the relative impact on decision-making of domain-specific knowledge and general ability as determinants of the acquisition of decision-making skills. Three types of clinical problems of increasing complexity were developed. Sixty second-year and third-year student nurses with high and low academic scores were studied in terms of their ability to generate hypotheses for a hypothetical case, recognize disconfirming information and the need to access additional information, and diagnostic accuracy. The results showed that general academic ability and knowledge function partly independently in the acquisition of expertise in nursing. Academic ability affects decision-making in low complexity tasks, but as case complexity increases, domain-specific knowledge and experience determines decision-making skills. There are important differences in the way novices with different levels of knowledge and ability make clinical decisions and these can be studied by systematically increasing the complexity of the decision task. These results have implications for the way in which clinical education is structured and evaluated.

History

Journal

Nursing & health sciences

Volume

5

Issue

1

Pagination

39 - 49

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing

Location

Carlton, Vic.

ISSN

1441-0745

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1997-2005, EBSCO Industries

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC