Scope and Standard of Practice – Nursing

What are the differences between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom?

The differences between the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom

According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2009), the data is a collection of objective facts relating to something. Information is the data that has been interpreted and as such has some relevance and can be employed for the purpose it is intended. Knowledge is the distiled information that has been collected, organized, classfied and interpreted (American Nurses Association, 2008). Wisdom simply means the use of experience and intuition to a situation involving care of a sick person.

The way the data becomes information, knowledge and wisdom

The data would be something like vital signs for a woman in labor. With this data, the nurse would make it significant in that context using specific interpretations. This data then becomes information as some meaning has been attached to it.

This is now known as information as it informs the nurse that it is incumbent upon her to prepare in earnest to help the woman deliver safely (American Psychological Association, 2010). In understanding the labor process, what the nurse knows in this context is knowledge. This action is likely to produce greater results or encourage other nurses to respond in a similar manner to save lives. This is called wisdom (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Analysis of a Clinical Scenario

A clinical scenario: A woman in labor

Whilst working in rehabilitation setting, stroke and cardiac hospital units at a local hospital, an aged man suffering from stroke was brought and based on the hospital rules; the man was supposed to be diagnosed to establish the real cause of the stroke (Benner & Hooper-Kyriakidi, 2011). The procedure carried out by the nurse in-charge was crude as I observed the man was reeling in great pain and had even lost consciousness. Immediately, I phoned the hospital director and asked them to help arrest the situation.

I acquired knowledge through information recorded by the nurse in charge. I processed knowledge through my past experiences. I generated knowledge by comparing similar experiences in the past (Benner & Hooper-Kyriakidi, 2011). I disseminated Knowledge through the phone.

In general, the feedback changed the way I dealt with delicate situations like patients who were in critical conditions. What stood out for me was the way the clinical scenario was handled. McGonigle and Mastrian state (2009) , “patients must be active participants in managing their health (p. 107).”In such critical situations, the consent of the patient is usually needed before anything is performed but has been overlooked in this case.

Associations made

These readings generated reflection on the issue of dealing with a critical incident in rehabilitation setting, stroke and cardiac hospital units as well as matters to do with the aspect of informed consent (Benner & Hooper-Kyriakidi, 2011). In addition, the readings invoked reflection on personal responsibilities as well as areas of nursing practice that required improvement such as the need for assertive advocacy.

Conclusions to be made

In the case of the posting of student one, “critical incident from a professional point of view generated learning about matters of informed consent and should therefore be used in directing clinical practice”. In the case of the student two, “medical practitioners need to be trained more on not only how to respect, but also how facilitate individual choices while remaining responsible in their profession”. Personally, not just the incident, but also the readings created an improved consciousness about the rights of patients in relation to making own decisions.


American Nurses Association. (2008). Nursing Informatics: Scope and Standard of Practice. Silver Spring: American Nurses Association.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington DC: AmericanpsychologicaAssociation.

Benner, P., & Hooper-Kyriakidi, P. (2011). Clinical wisdom and interventions in acute and critical care: a thinking-in-action approach. New York: Springer Pub.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2009). nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett.