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Nurs Philos. 2006 Oct;7(4):247-56.

Intelligent nursing: accounting for knowledge as action in practice.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


This paper provides an analysis of nursing as a knowledgeable discipline. We examined ways in which knowledge operates in the practice of home care nursing and explored how knowledge might be fruitfully understood within the ambiguous spaces and competing temporalities characterizing contemporary healthcare services. Two popular metaphors of knowledge in nursing practice were identified and critically examined; evidence-based practice and the nurse as an intuitive worker. Pointing to faults in these conceptualizations, we suggest a different way of conceptualizing the relationship between knowledge and practice, namely practice as being activated by contextualized knowledge. This conceptualization is captured in an understanding of the intelligent creation of context by the nurse for nursing practice to be ethical and effective.

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