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  1. McLane, Sharon PhD, MBA, RN-BC
  2. Turley, James P. PhD, RN
  3. Esquivel, Adol PhD, MD
  4. Engebretson, Joan DrPH, RN, AHN-BC
  5. Smith, Kimberly A. PhD, MS, MT (ASCP), CPHIMSS
  6. Wood, Geri L. PhD, RN, FAAN
  7. Zhang, Jiajie PhD


Cognitive artifacts-information displays that inform thought processes and increaseknowledge-fulfill a fundamental role in distributed cognition. Cognitive work-the mental processes ofselecting and evaluating data, reasoning, and making decisions-is guided and informed by cognitive artifacts, especially in clinical areas. The importance of cognitive artifacts to cognitive work suggests the need to study andcomprehensively understand cognitive artifacts prepared and used by the clinical nurses and how these documentsinfluence and guide nursing practice. This article identifies and describes the attributes of effectivelyconstructed cognitive artifacts using the concept analysis process described by Walker and Avant.