Term of Award

Fall 1997

Degree Name

Master of Nursing

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Charlene Hanson

Committee Member 1

Donna Hodnicki

Committee Member 2

Kaye Herth

Committee Member 3

Rebecca Ryan


Nurses are challenged intellectually and clinically each day. The advance practice nurse requires more than specialized education and skills to meet the needs of health care consumers In order to provide the reliable, competent, quality health care, more extensive decision-making proficiencies are required of the nurse practitioner (NP) Nurse practitioners must be able to reason through information, construct an accurate and clear comprehension, and direct the mind toward problem solving in daily practice, patient by patient, but in some sense, unique (Paul & Heaslip, 1995). Given the varying levels of intuitive awareness, intuitiveness is considered a special, unique ability that plays a crucial role in any profession requiring decision-making The literature supports the existence of the phenomenon and yields opinions in favor of its usefulness in practice Based on the lack of empirical evidence, opposing views contend intuition is irrational, inferior, and unprofessional Literature review confirms an inability to directly measure intuition and a lack of research into the concept of intuition in nursing practice An examination of intuition and the self-perception of its use in NPs would provide validation for its positive worth and applicability in advanced nursing practice.

The purpose of this study was to analyze NPs perception of their individual use of intuitiveness in their advance practice role as measured by the Miller Intuitiveness Instrument (Mil) The Mil, a 43 item survey, was designed to measure the self-perception of intuition in nurses Demographic variables under study included age, total years of RN and NP practice, NP educational degree, and NP specialty area Patricia Benner's nursing perspective of the Dreyfus' model of skill acquisition from novice to expert was used as the theoretical framework for this study From the total population of NPs (n = 500), the response rate (n = 161) was 32% and considered adequate to evaluate the desired perspective Demographic data from this study was compared with a 1995 Census of NPs conducted by the Center for Rural Health and Research at Georgia Southern University. The close similarities in variables of age, race, gender, hours of work per week, and number of clients served per week provided support of adequate representation of NPs in Georgia Frequency distributions were used to evaluate demographic data and the entire Mil scale Pearson's i and chi-square statistical tests were used to examine relationships between the mean Mil scale score, age, total years of RN and NP experience, NP specialty area, and NP educational level. The study yielded weak, but statistically significant relationships between average Mil score, age, and total years of RN and NP experience The findings between the relationship of experience and Mil score supported Benner's theory that NPs with the longest years of experience would report more self-perceived use of intuition The examination of NP specialty area and NP educational level with Mil score provided no significant relationship However, positive patterns displayed higher self-perceptions of the use of intuitiveness among masters prepared FNPs The influences of intuition and its role in advance nursing practice cannot go unrecognized Nurses have always strived to positively effect patient outcomes and intuition needs to be established as an integral part of the decision-making aspects of the nursing process.

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