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Discussion – Week 5

Critical Thinking

Recall your early clinical nursing experiences—what guided your decisions? Did you practice nursing ‘by the book’? Now, consider how you make decisions today. How have your clinical experiences fostered a greater depth of knowledge and critical thinking?

This week’s Learning Resources explore skill development and levels of knowledge acquisition based on clinical experience. For example, Benner suggests that as a nurse gains more experience, knowledge and skill level increases. Nurses move from novices—making decisions based on rules—to experts who are able to see connections between actions and outcomes using critical thinking. This Discussion focuses on the role of critical thinking in nursing practice and the connection between critical thinking, clinical competence, and scholarship.

To prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources focusing on critical thinking and Benner’s interpretation of the Novice to Expert theory.
  • Reflect on how critical thinking is used in clinical practice. How does critical thinking relate to, or support, clinical competence?
  • What critical thinking strategies do you use to improve your clinical competence and thus move from novice to expert?
  • Consider the connection between critical thinking, nursing practice, and scholarship.

BY DAY 3

Post your observations on how critical thinking is used in clinical practice (provide examples); how you employ critical thinking strategies to improve clinical competence; and your thoughts on the connections between critical thinking, scholarship, and practice.

Support your Discussion assignment with specific resources used in its preparation using APA formatting. You are asked to provide a reference for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Week 6: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Analysis

As you explored in previous weeks, the ability to think critically is an essential aspect of scholarship.

To be effective as a scholar-practitioner, you must also understand how this skill pertains to your professional practice. What is the relationship between critical thinking and clinical competency? How will you apply effective critical thinking strategies in your practice setting?

This last week, you examine critical thinking and its application in nursing practice.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Explain the relationship between critical thinking and clinical competency
  • Analyze the connection between critical thinking, clinical competence, and scholarship

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

REQUIRED READINGS

Berkow, S., Virkstis, K., Stewart, J., Aronson, S., & Donohue, M. (2011). Assessing individual frontline nurse critical thinking. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(4), 168–171. doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182118528.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
The authors of this article developed a tool to assess 25 critical thinking skills deemed necessary for frontline nurses.

Jenkins, S. (2011). Cross-cultural perspectives on critical thinking. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(5), 268–274. doi:10.3928/01484834-20110228-02.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article seeks to further define common characteristics of critical thinking by exploring the influence of culture on its definition. They compare nursing students’ perceptions of critical thinking from the United States with Thailand.

Marchigiano, G., Eduljee, N., & Harvey, K. (2011). Developing critical thinking skills from clinical assignments: A pilot study on nursing students’ self-reported perceptions. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(1), 143–152. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01191.x
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article examines student experiences in the clinical setting that facilitate the development of critical thinking skills.

Zori, S., Nosek, L. J., & Musil, C. M. (2010). Critical thinking of nurse managers related to staff RNs’ perceptions of the practice environment. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 42(3), 305–313. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2010.01354.x
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Nursing Foundations
When nurse leaders have strong critical thinking skills, it creates a better work environment for others. This article examines that influence and its impact on patient safety and delivering quality care.

Kaminski, J. (2010). Theory applied to informatics—Novice to expert. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 5(4). Retrieved from http://cjni.net/journal/?p=967
Kaminski explains the Novice to Expert Theory and its application in nursing practice.

Current Nursing. (2011). Nursing theories: A companion to nursing theories and models: From novice to expert. Retrieved from http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/Patricia_…
This website outlines the Novice to Expert Theory, applied to nursing, by Patricia Benner.

SGNA (n.d.). Expanded content level definitions. Retrieved May 29, 2013 from http://www.sgna.org/Expanded-Content-Level-Definit…
Explore a variety of models of acquisition at this website, including Bennen’s, which was adapted from the Dryefus model.

Walden University. (2012j). Walden University writing center: Critical reading. Retrieved from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/454.htm
As you evaluate research articles, or information found on the Internet it is important to read the material with a critical eye. The Walden Writing Center offers many excellent resources and strategies for reading critically.

Walden University Writing Center. (2010). What is critical thinking? Retrieved from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/Documents/Scholarly-Writing/Critical_Thinking_(Final).pdf

The Walden Writing Center provides a succinct overview of critical thinking and critical reading. This brief article provides a definition of critical thinking and its characteristics.
Nursing Foundations