Mapping the nursing process: a new approach for understanding the work of nursing

J Nurs Adm. 2004 Feb;34(2):101-9. doi: 10.1097/00005110-200402000-00009.


The work of nursing is nonlinear and involves complex reasoning and clinical decision making. The use of human factors engineering (HFE) as a sole means for analyzing the work of nursing is problematic. Combining HFE analysis with qualitative observation has created a new methodology for mapping the nursing process. A cognitive pathway offers a new perspective for understanding the work of nursing and analyzing how disruptions to the nursing process may contribute to errors in the acute care environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / nursing
  • Attention
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Cognition
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Logic
  • Medical Errors / methods
  • Medical Errors / psychology
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Assistants / organization & administration
  • Nursing Assistants / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Nursing Process*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Problem Solving
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design
  • Time and Motion Studies