This paper analyzes nursing job descriptions that compose a career ladder. These job descriptions, an ethnomodel of expertise, are compared to the Dreyfus model that describes five stages of skill acquisition. While the Dreyfus model posits the replacement of analytic reasoning with intuitive response as the characteristic of expert practice, the ideal posited in the nursing model places theoretical knowledge at the apex. Nursing job descriptions can best be understood in the context of this profession's search for greater power and legitimacy. © 1986.
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