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Explicating Benner’s Concept of Expert Practice: Intuition in Emergency Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Number of words/pages: 412 words/3 pages
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The Theoretical Framework

In an inquiry, the theoretical framework facilitates the introduction and description of the theory that elucidates the existence of the research problem. Lyneham, Parkinson, and Denholm (2008) integrate intuitive decision-making as a theoretical framework to support their study. Therefore, the researchers sought to apply intuitive decision-making in understanding practice development in nursing.

Research Questions

  • What is the way of identifying the expert nursing practitioner?
  • What is the nexus of internal as well as external measure – do only proficient nurses apply intuition?
  • What is the description of intuition and the intuitive process?
  • How does an expert obtain intuition?


The study purposed to uncover the involvement of intuition in the area of emergency nursing relative to Benner’s fifth phase of practice development, as regarded as, “the expert practitioner.”

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Lyneham, Parkinson, and Denholm (2008) embraced a phenomenological study that applies van Manen’s approach as well as a Gadamerian analysis.


Lyneham, Parkinson, and Denholm (2008) uncover the need to restructure Benner’s expert phase of practice development by incorporating three distinctive phases including cognitive intuition, transitional intuition, and embodied intuition.


Lyneham, Parkinson, and Denholm (2008) underline that expert nurses are professionals that make the suitable decisions without requiring apparent assessment or thought. The internal and external criteria of intuitive decision-making provide the substance and shape of nursing practice, respectively. Moreover, intuition is an inner voice that prompts the nurse to act in a particular way.

Significance of the Theory, Concepts of Theory Applied, and Linkage of Theory to the Research

The research is relevant since it facilitates a clarification of “the expert practitioner” as the fifth stage of Benner’s practice development model. The inquiry unveils three concepts of intuition. Cognitive intuition requires the expert to apply the subconscious and rational assessment of emergency situations. Transitional intuition necessitates the nurse to be aware of the patient’s physical sensations besides other behaviors. Moreover, in practice development, needs to trust their instincts by embracing embodied intuition (Payne, 2015). The intuitive decision-making theory links directly to the research by describing intuition and the intuitive process that a nurse could adopt to foster practice development.

1. Payne, L. K. (2015). Toward a Theory of Intuitive Decision–Making in Nursing. Nursing science quarterly, 28(3), 223-228.

2. Yneham J., Parkinson C. & Denholm C. (2008) Explicating Benner’s concept of expert practice: intuition in emergency nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing 64(4), 380–387.

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