The Importance of Intercultural Fluency in Developing Clinical Judgment

Eva Hava Peisachovich


The concept of intercultural fluency emerged from the data analysis of a recent study that explored internationally educated nurses’ (IENs) experience and understanding of clinical judgment when engaged in a simulated clinical environment. I observed that one’s prior sociocultural experiences and subjectivity have significance in the context of nursing care and patient outcomes. Further, this subjectivity can facilitate the development of expertise, which is a significant factor that can support IENs’ transition to nursing practice. In this context, intercultural fluency refers to a process that allows one to regress and progress on the continuum of novice to expert, as identified by Benner (1984). Benner’s model has been modified here to acknowledge that movement along the continuum is multidirectional and dependent on the social, cultural, or sociocultural context of a situation. The modified model illustrates that one may be a novice in one setting but an expert in another. The concept of intercultural fluency explains how one’s expertise can regress when one is in an unfamiliar situation or when one encounters cultural differences. This paper provides potential approaches to apply the concept of intercultural fluency in both the education of IENs and the nursing profession.


Expertise, Clinical judgment, culture, intercultural flency, Internationally educated nurses

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