Clinical reasoning: What do nurses, physicians, and students reason about

Lukas Huesmann, Małgorzata Sudacka, Steven J. Durning, Carina Georg, Sören Huwendiek, Andrzej A. Kononowicz, Claudia Schlegel, Inga Hege*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Clinical reasoning is a core ability in the health professions, but the term is conceptualised in multiple ways within and across professions. For interprofessional teamwork it is indispensable to recognise the differences in understanding between professions. Therefore, our aim was to investigate how nurses, physicians, and medical and nursing students define clinical reasoning. We conducted 43 semi-structured interviews with an interprofessional group from six countries and qualitatively analysed their definitions of clinical reasoning based on a coding guide. Our results showed similarities across professions, such as the emphasis on clinical skills as part of clinical reasoning. But we also revealed differences, such as a more patient-centered view and a broader understanding of the clinical reasoning concept in nurses and nursing students. The explicit sharing and discussion of differences in the understanding of clinical reasoning across health professions can provide valuable insights into the perspectives of different team members on clinical practice and education. This understanding may lead to improved interprofessional collaboration, and our study's categories and themes can serve as a basis for such discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-998
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical reasoning
  • health profession education
  • interviews


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