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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PEREZ-FUILLERAT, Natalia; SOLANO-RUIZ, M. Carmen  and  AMEZCUA, Manuel. Tacit Knowledge: characteristics in nursing practice. Gac Sanit [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.2, pp.191-196.  Epub Oct 21, 2019. ISSN 0213-9111.


Tacit knowledge can be defined as knowledge which is used intuitively and unconsciously, which is acquired through one's experience, characterized by being personal and contextual. Some terms such as ‘intuition’, ‘know how’ and ‘implicit knowledge’ have been used to describe tacit knowledge. Different disciplines in the fields of management or health have studied tacit knowledge, identifying it as a powerful tool to create knowledge and clinical decision-making. The aim of this review is to analyse the definition and characteristics that make up tacit knowledge and determine the role it plays in the nursing discipline.


An integrative review was undertaken of the literature published up to November 2016 in the databases CUIDEN, SciELO, PubMed, Cochrane and CINAHL. The synthesis and interpretation of the data was performed by two researchers through content analysis.


From a total of 819 articles located, 35 articles on tacit knowledge and nursing were chosen. There is no consensus on the name and description of results in tacit knowledge. The main characteristics of tacit knowledge have a personal and social character, which is used from an organised mental structure, called mindline. This structure relates to the use of tacit knowledge on clinical decision-making.


Previous studies on tacit knowledge and nursing provide the nursing community with perspectives without going into depth. The production of a framework is suggested, as it would clarify implied concepts and its role on the management of nursing knowledge.

Keywords : Knowledge management; Tacit knowledge; Implicit knowledge; Intuition; Clinical nursing.

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