Clinical judgment, emotional intelligence, CJ, EI, EQ, Emotional Quota, nurs


Background: Clinical judgment (CJ) has recently become a priority in nursing, yet it is poorly understood and can be difficult to evaluate. Another thought process, emotional intelligence (EI) shares similar characteristics with CJ and is easily tested. However, the relationship between CJ and EI is poorly understood.

Method: This literature review and correlational, quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive study compared two instruments and evaluated the relationship between clinical judgment and emotional intelligence, as measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) (Mayer et al., 2004) and the Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric (LCJR) (Lasater, 2007) during a simulation-based experience in 46 pre-licensure undergraduate nursing students.

Results: Shared attributes in the literature between CJ and EI included retention, academic performance, licensure success, nursing values, care perceptions, general well-being, reduced stress, improved coping strategies, use of mindfulness, and social connections. No significant correlations were identified between total MSCEIT and LCJR scores, although branch scores indicated small to near-moderate correlations. CJ scores significantly improved after approximately three months of focused education and experience.

Conclusion: The LCJR and MSCEIT did not measure decision making processes similarly. However, further analysis of branch scores demonstrated a link between each of the components of CJ and EI, which was confirmed through shared attributes in the literature. Based on these results, the optimal time to evaluate CJ is approximately three months after the start of a new semester, which provides enough time to determine if CJ is adequate and still be able to incorporate changes for improvement by the end of the semester. This study offers the potential to translate research outcomes into evidence-based educational practices for evaluating future innovative teaching and learning strategies, with direct implications for future nursing simulation education and research on CJ.

Completion Date




Committee Chair

Anderson, Mindi


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Nursing



Degree Program

Nursing Research





Release Date

June 2029

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Campus Location

UCF Online

Restricted to the UCF community until June 2029; it will then be open access.