The knowledge of expert nurses and the practical-reflective rationality

  • Paulo Joaquim Pina Queirós RN, Post-doctoral student of ICBAS-UP. Nursing School of Coimbra, Portugal. Email:
Keywords: Nursing, nursing education, knowledge.


Objective: To identify the characteristics of an expert nurse.

Methodology: A group of 49 nurses starting their Master’s degree was asked to answer the following question: “Which characteristics and skills distinguish a novice from an expert nurse?” The answers were analyzed and classified based on Bardin’s content analysis.

Results: Through a three-stage classification process, the competences and skills assigned to expert nurses were divided into 17 categories. These nurses showed wide-ranging skills and acquired meta-competencies. Expert nurses are characterized by their leadership, supervision and ability to manage change, as well as their communication and relational skills. They have the ability to act reflectively, plan, systematize and consistently assess; they also show more dexterity. They have more adaptive skills, confidence and achieve a broader view. They are competent while managing conflicts and stress, as well as articulating theory and practice; they create knowledge, make use of research, respond to complex situations and are capable of making decisions.

Conclusion: Expert nurses have anticipation skills, insight, use detailed observation, take immediate action and are able to define priorities; they keep context in mind and have a tendency for specialization. 


How to cite this article: Queirós PJP. The knowledge of expert nurses and the practical-reflective rationality. Invest Educ Enferm. 2015; 33(1): 

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How to Cite
Pina Queirós, P. J. (2015). The knowledge of expert nurses and the practical-reflective rationality. Investigación Y Educación En Enfermería, 33(1). Retrieved from