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Nurse Educ Pract. 2010 Sep;10(5):303-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2010.01.009. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Using the Benner intuitive-humanistic decision-making model in action: a case study.

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Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.


Nurse educators make decisions that affect students in profound ways. This decision-making process may follow an intuitive-humanistic decision-making model. The author most connected with developing the intuitive model and the distinction between theoretical knowledge and experiential knowledge in the discipline of nursing is Patricia Benner (Thompson, 1999). Educators use intuition in forming judgments regarding educational planning. The educator may not be aware of subtleties that influence the decision but rely on a 'gut' instinct as they determine the appropriate action. Utilizing six key concepts identified by Dreyfus and Dreyfus (Benner and Tanner, 1987) this process utilizes what is known to the educator from previous situations to determine a course of action appropriate for the given situation. This paper describes a method one nursing educator used and identifies outcomes that could impact the career path for the student when determining if they were safe to continue in a practice based course.

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