Humans acquire data and information in bits and pieces and then transform the information into knowledge. The information-processing functions of the brain are frequently compared to those of a computer, and vice versa. Humans can be thought of as organic information systems that are constantly acquiring, processing, and generating information of knowledge or knowledge in their professional and personal lives. they have an amazing ability to manage knowledge. This ability is learned and honed from birth as individuals make their way through life interacting with the environment and being inundated with data and information. Each person experiences the environment and learns by acquiring, processing, generating, and disseminating knowledge.
For example, nursing students acquired knowledge in basic nursing education program and continues to build their foundation of knowledge by engaging in activities such as reading nursing research and theory articles, attending continuing education programs, consulting with expert colleagues, and using clinical databases and clinical practice guideline. As they interact in the clinical environment, they acquire knowledge that must be processed. This processing effort cause them to redefine and restructure their knowledge base and generate new knowledge. They can then share (disseminate) this new knowledge with colleagues, and they may receive feedback on knowledge that they share. This dissemination and feedback builds the knowledge foundation anew as they acquire, process, generate, and disseminate new knowledge as a result of their interactions. As others respond to their knowledge dissemination and they acquire yet more knowledge, leading to further processing, generating, and then disseminating knowledge. This ongoing process is the Foundation of Knowledge Model.
According to the foundation of knowledge model, early in a career, a nurse focuses primarily on knowledge acquisition because the nurse has numerous pieces of information that have not yet coalesced into a whole. The new nurse is still dependent on others, such as supervisors or instructors, to generate and disseminate knowledge while the nurse begins to process the information gained. The nurse gains experience and confidence as information is processed. Because the fast changes in information, all nurses must continue to acquire knowledge regardless of experience.
Nurses are knowledge workers, working with information and generating information and knowledge as product.
Nurses are knowledge acquirers, providing convenient and efficient means of capturing and storing knowledge.
Nurses are knowledge users, meaning individuals or groups who benefit from valuable, viable knowledge.
Nurses are knowledge engineers, designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining knowledge.
Nurses are knowledge managers, capturing and processing collective expertise and distributing it where it can create the largest benefit.
They are knowledge developers and generators, changing and evolving knowledge based on the tasks at hand and the information available.