This article intends to describe how critical thinking of learners can be facilitated or infused in clinical nursing education using the identified core cognitive critical thinking skills, their related sub-skills and the affective dispositions.
The desire of the researcher to apply these critical thinking skills in clinical nursing education was in response to the recommendations made by experts in critical thinking who conducted the Delphi research project about the concept analysis of…
Critical thinking is understood to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgments which result in interpretation, analysis, evaluation and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based (Facione, 1990:2).
The core cognitive thinking skills are supported and driven by the identified affective dispositions such as inquisitiveness, analytical thinking, open- and fairmindedness, flexibility, self-confidence, being systematic, truth-seeking and a mature attitude.
Nurses who are critical thinkers hold all their views and reasoning to these standards as well as, the claims of others such that the quality of nurse's thinking improves over time thus eliminating confusion and ambiguity in the presentation and understanding of thoughts and ideas.
Reasoning in nursing involves eight elements of thought.I need to understand the implications and consequences of the author's thinking.As I come to understand the author in-depth I will also begin to recognize the strength and weakness of his reasoning.Nurses should be critical thinkers because they deal with the lives of patients.They are faced with challenges in their daily practice which require the ability to make rational and critical clinical decisions and also make astute clinical judgment that are logical to solve health related problems.Critical thinking involves trying to figure out something; a problem, an issue, the views of another person, a theory or an idea.To figure things out we need to enter into the thinking of the other person and then to comprehend as best we can the structure of their thinking. When I read an author I'm trying to figure out what the author is saying; what problem or issue the author is addressing, what point of view or frame of reference he is coming from, what the goal or purpose is of this piece of writing, what evidence, data or facts are being used and what theories, concepts, principles or ideas are involved.All thinking can be examined in light of these standards and as we reflect on the quality of our thinking we begin to recognize when we are being unclear, imprecise, vague or inaccurate.As nurses, we want to eliminate irrelevant, inconsistent and illogical thoughts as we reason about client care.Content validity of the study is ensured based on the two theoretical frameworks.Recommendations to apply the identified critical thinking skills and the dispositions are made.