Strategies for teaching the critical thinking abilities in nursing

The use of interprofessional communication can be particularly effective when various professions are assigned among the small group members. Case studies must be relevant and reinforce complex concepts that students can recall and apply in a non-threatening classroom environment. I find this approach particularly useful when nursing students learn cultural sensitivity and spiritual interventions for care.

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I have found that critical thinking is enhanced when students are able to discuss the pros and cons, interpret outcomes, and analyze consequences within a structured debate. Students may be assigned readings that support their designated side of an argument prior to the class discussion.


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This develops analytical skills and the ability to recognize complex sides of a selected issue. I often use this method when evaluating the use of electronic healthcare records. When students are asked to reflect upon newly gained knowledge and how it relates to their professional role, their learning becomes more meaningful and satisfying. We ask students to journal about their learning in relation to stated outcomes on a weekly basis in our onsite program. We have also utilized weekly learning logs and asked students to recall concepts discussed within the course and how they could be applied to their professional practice.

Teachers may tailor the learning log questions in order to identify content that should be strengthened or eliminated in a course. I find that when thought-provoking questions are asked, individuals explore the usefulness and application of the knowledge presented.

Faculty encourage critical analysis by challenging students to draw conclusions about information gleaned from scholarly sources.

I have used some of the following questions during class discussions and when providing feedback on written assignments:. In conclusion, faculty play an important role in promoting critical thinking skills among students. Teaching strategies must be carefully and intentionally planned to assist students in developing this complex process for managing information and guiding professional practice.

Rowles, C. Open-ended questions also encourage students to think and respond creatively, without fear of giving the "wrong" answer. Allow sufficient time to reflect on the questions asked or problems posed. Critical thinking seldom involves snap judgments; therefore, posing questions and allowing adequate time before soliciting responses helps new nurses understand that they are expected to deliberate and to ponder, and that the immediate response is not always the best response.

Teach for transfer. The skills for critical thinking should travel well.

Critical Thinking Skills

They generally will do so only if teachers provide opportunities for students to see how a newly acquired skill can apply to other situations and experiences. Attributes of Critical Thinkers After evaluating where new nurses are at in terms of critical-thinking skills, look at the attributes of a critical thinker. Effect on Patient Safety Patient safety can be directly affected by the critical thinking ability of a nurse. What type of training and resources do you think is most helpful for younger nurses and clinicians to fully develop their critical-thinking skills?

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Critical Thinking and Nursing

The successful use of problem-based learning in an online nurse practitioner course. Nurs Educ Perspect ;29 1 IJCCN ; 3 4 : Clinical concept mapping: Does it improve discipline-based critical thinking of nursing students?

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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res ;19 1 Tynjala P, Traditional studing for examination versus constructivist learning tasks. Studies in High Educ , 21, pp Iran J Crit Care Nurs ; 3 4 : Assessment of scientific thinking in basic science questions in the Iranian Fourth National Olympiad for medical sciences students.

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Iran J Med Educ ; 12 10 : Nurs Midwifery J Tabriz Univ; 5 20 : Abdoli S, Khajeh Ali T. Iranian J Med Educ ; 11 9 Knowledge, attitude and performance of academic members regarding effective communication skills in education. J Educ Health Promot ; Educ Strategy Med Sci. Volume 10, Issue 4 sep-oct Educ Strategy Med Sci , 10 4 : Back to browse issues page. J Mil Med ; 14 4 [ Homepage ]

Strategies for teaching critical thinking more effectively
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