The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between the nurses' decision making model, frequency of Rapid Response Team (RRT) activation, and the nurse's skill at the early recognition of clinical deterioration. A descriptive, cross sectional quantitative design was used. The participants in this study were 167 acute care registered nurses who had activated the RRT at least once in the preceding 12 months. The participants first were asked to recall a time when they had made the decision to activate the RRT and then were asked to complete the instruments used in this study. Using the Nurse Decision-Making Instrument, the participant's decision making model then was categorized as analytic, intuitive, or mixed. The skill at early recognition of clinical deterioration was measured with the Manifestations of Early Recognition Instrument. Participant scores on the two instruments were significantly correlated with each other as well as to their frequency of RRT activation over the preceding 12 months. The findings of this study indicated that nurses who used analytical decision making activated the RRT with greater frequency than either the intuitive or mixed decision makers. In addition, registered nurses who used analytical decision making to activate the RRT tended to have higher levels of skill in the early recognition of clinical deterioration, as measured by the MER, than either the intuitive or mixed decision makers. Another finding of this study was that RNs with higher levels of skill in the early recognition of clinical deterioration tended to activate the RRT more frequently than RNs with lower levels of this skill. The implications of this study are that the use of analytical decision making may result in more frequent activation of the RRT.