When discussing care, the individual cannot be considered separate from their most immediate context, that is, the family. Including the family in the cares for a critically ill patient requires a skill that is not developed until the nursing professional is competent in Benner's terms. The skill that a nurse can have to become involved in caring for patients and the family is acquired over time and through experience.To explore the behavior and clinical judgment of a nurse qualified in areas of critical care, according to Patricia Benner, identifying the responses provided by the nurse for patient and family needs.Maria, an expert nurse in an intensive care unit, was selected to report on a significant clinical episode related to caring for the family. Her narration was read, and analysis and conclusions were carried out, within the field of caring for the family and according to the six aspects of clinical judgment and expert behavior outlined by Benner.It reveals how the expert skills and know-how of the nurse bring about a significant change in the practice.Encouraging the family to take part in the care promotes union, decreases impotence and anxiety and helps to assimilate the loved one's situation, aspects which form part of the nursing skill to provide complete care. Using Maria's clinical practice as a base, aspects of the clinical judgment and behavior that Benner identifies in an expert nurse can be observed.