Clinical decision making in undergraduate nursing students: A mixed methods multisite study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Clinical decision making is an integral part of what nurses do, yet little is known about how students learn how to make clinical decisions or about the nature of the clinical decisions they make-whether intuitive or analytical. This multischool, multistate embedded mixed methods study was conducted to better understand these phenomena within the context of Hammond's Cognitive Continuum Theory. The content for this manuscript was taken from the primary author's dissertation.


Students (N = 168) completed the NDMI-Revised 2014; followed by focus groups.


Three quarters of the participants (n = 127) scored in the quasi-rational range of clinical decision making indicating they are flexible making decisions dependent on the situation. Six themes described how students made clinical decisions.


Participants were flexible decision makers who used the help of others, lessons learned, the wisdom of nurses, experience, the situation at hand, and systematic cognitive processing to make clinical decisions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Phillips, BC; Morin, K; Valiga, TMT

Published Date

  • February 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 /

Start / End Page

  • 104676 -

PubMed ID

  • 33310245

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2793

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0260-6917

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104676


  • eng