Developing clinical reasoning and effective communication skills in advanced practice
Intended for healthcare professionals

Developing clinical reasoning and effective communication skills in advanced practice

Julian Barratt Head of post-registration education, Institute of Health, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the role of clinical reasoning in establishing differential diagnoses and supporting shared decision-making regarding treatment

  • To enhance your awareness of the importance of effective communication in clinical reasoning and optimum patient care

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Clinical reasoning and effective communication are fundamental skills for nurses working at an advanced level of practice. Clinical reasoning processes are designed to enable the nurse to establish the nature of a patient’s presenting condition before focusing on problem-solving techniques that can guide the appropriate course of treatment. This article explores the concept of clinical reasoning in advanced practice and outlines the various approaches that nurses can take. It also details the role of effective communication in advanced practice. A case study is used to demonstrate the specific stages involved in clinical reasoning.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11109


Barratt J (2018) Developing clinical reasoning and effective communication skills in advanced practice. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11109

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 24 December 2018

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now