Taxonomy of nursing clinical credibility as described by nurses and physicians

Claudia DiSabatino Smith, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston


Introduction: Nursing clinical credibility, a complex, abstract concept is rarely mentioned in the clinical setting, but is implicitly understood by nurses and physicians. The concept has neither been defined nor explored, despite its repeated use in literature. A review of the extant literature formed the basis for a concept analysis of nursing clinical credibility, which is currently under review for publication. Methods: Using taxonomic analysis, findings of a descriptive qualitative research study in which registered nurses and physicians identified attributes of nursing clinical credibility as it applied to nurses in direct care roles in a hospital setting, formed the basis for development of taxonomies of nursing clinical credibility. A secondary review of literature was undertaken to verify congruence of the taxonomic domains with the work of previous researchers who studied credibility and source credibility. Results: Three taxonomies of nursing clinical credibility emerged from the taxonomic analysis. Using an inductive approach, two separate taxonomies of nursing clinical credibility emerged; one was developed from the descriptions of nursing clinical credibility by registered nurses, and the other from physicians' descriptions of nursing clinical credibility. A third and final taxonomy reflects commonalities within both taxonomies. Three domains were consistent for both nurses and physicians: trustworthiness, expertise, and caring. The two disciplines differed in categories and emphases within the domains; however, both disciplines focused on the attributes of trustworthiness and caring, although physicians and nurses differed on components of expertise. Discussion: Findings from this study of nursing clinical credibility concur with the work of previous researchers who identified trustworthiness and expertise as attributes of credibility and source credibility. Findings suggest however, that trustworthiness and expertise alone are not sufficient attributes of nursing clinical credibility. Caring emerged as an essential domain of nursing clinical credibility according to both nurses and physicians. Products: Products of this research include a concept analysis, two discipline-specific taxonomies of nursing clinical credibility, a third final taxonomy, and a monograph that describes the development of the final taxonomy of nursing clinical credibility.

Subject Area

Nursing|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Smith, Claudia DiSabatino, "Taxonomy of nursing clinical credibility as described by nurses and physicians" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3420487.