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- v.22(4); 2014 Aug
Critical Thinking: The Development of an Essential Skill for Nursing Students
Ioanna v. papathanasiou.
1 Nursing Department, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Greece
Christos F. Kleisiaris
2 Nursing Department, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece
Evangelos C. Fradelos
3 State Mental Hospital of Attica “Daphne”, Greece
4 Nursing Department, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
Critical thinking is defined as the mental process of actively and skillfully perception, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of collected information through observation, experience and communication that leads to a decision for action. In nursing education there is frequent reference to critical thinking and to the significance that it has in daily clinical nursing practice. Nursing clinical instructors know that students face difficulties in making decisions related to clinical practice. The main critical thinking skills in which nursing students should be exercised during their studies are critical analysis, introductory and concluding justification, valid conclusion, distinguish of facts and opinions, evaluation the credibility of information sources, clarification of concepts and recognition of conditions. Specific behaviors are essentials for enhancing critical thinking. Nursing students in order to learn and apply critical thinking should develop independence of thought, fairness, perspicacity in personal and social level, humility, spiritual courage, integrity, perseverance, self-confidence, interest for research and curiosity. Critical thinking is an essential process for the safe, efficient and skillful nursing practice. The nursing education programs should adopt attitudes that promote critical thinking and mobilize the skills of critical reasoning.
Critical thinking is applied by nurses in the process of solving problems of patients and decision-making process with creativity to enhance the effect. It is an essential process for a safe, efficient and skillful nursing intervention. Critical thinking according to Scriven and Paul is the mental active process and subtle perception, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information collected or derived from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or the communication leading to conviction for action ( 1 ).
So, nurses must adopt positions that promote critical thinking and refine skills of critical reasoning in order a meaningful assessment of both the previous and the new information and decisions taken daily on hospitalization and use of limited resources, forces you to think and act in cases where there are neither clear answers nor specific procedures and where opposing forces transform decision making in a complex process ( 2 ).
Critical thinking applies to nurses as they have diverse multifaceted knowledge to handle the various situations encountered during their shifts still face constant changes in an environment with constant stress of changing conditions and make important decisions using critical thinking to collect and interpret information that are necessary for making a decision ( 3 ).
Critical thinking, combined with creativity, refine the result as nurses can find specific solutions to specific problems with creativity taking place where traditional interventions are not effective. Even with creativity, nurses generate new ideas quickly, get flexible and natural, create original solutions to problems, act independently and with confidence, even under pressure, and demonstrate originality ( 4 ).
The aim of the study is to present the basic skills of critical thinking, to highlight critical thinking as a essential skill for nursing education and a fundamental skill for decision making in nursing practice. Moreover to indicate the positive effect and relation that critical thinking has on professional outcomes.
2. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Nurses in their efforts to implement critical thinking should develop some methods as well as cognitive skills required in analysis, problem solving and decision making ( 5 ). These skills include critical analysis, introductory and concluding justification, valid conclusion, distinguishing facts and opinions to assess the credibility of sources of information, clarification of concepts, and recognition conditions ( 6 , 7 ).
Critical analysis is applied to a set of questions that relate to the event or concept for the determination of important information and ideas and discarding the unnecessary ones. It is, thus, a set of criteria to rationalize an idea where one must know all the questions but to use the appropriate one in this case ( 8 ).
The Socratic Method, where the question and the answer are sought, is a technique in which one can investigate below the surface, recognize and examine the condition, look for the consequences, investigate the multiple data views and distinguish between what one knows and what he simply believes. This method should be implemented by nurses at the end of their shifts, when reviewing patient history and progress, planning the nursing plan or discussing the treatment of a patient with colleagues ( 9 ).
The Inference and Concluding justification are two other critical thinking skills, where the justification for inductive generalizations formed from a set of data and observations, which when considered together, specific pieces of information constitute a special interpretation ( 10 ). In contrast, the justification is deduced from the general to the specific. According to this, nurse starts from a conceptual framework–for example, the prioritization of needs by Maslow or a context–evident and gives descriptive interpretation of the patient’s condition with respect to this framework. So, the nurse who uses drawing needs categorizes information and defines the problem of the patient based on eradication, nutrition or need protection.
In critical thinking, the nurses still distinguish claims based on facts, conclusions, judgments and opinions. The assessment of the reliability of information is an important stage of critical thinking, where the nurse needs to confirm the accuracy of this information by checking other evidence and informants ( 10 ).
The concepts are ideas and opinions that represent objects in the real world and the importance of them. Each person has developed its own concepts, where they are nested by others, either based on personal experience or study or other activities. For a clear understanding of the situation of the patient, the nurse and the patient should be in agreement with the importance of concepts.
People also live under certain assumptions. Many believe that people generally have a generous nature, while others believe that it is a human tendency to act in its own interest. The nurse must believe that life should be considered as invaluable regardless of the condition of the patient, with the patient often believing that quality of life is more important than duration. Nurse and patient, realizing that they can make choices based on these assumptions, can work together for a common acceptable nursing plan ( 11 ).
3. CRITICAL THINKING ENHANCEMENT BEHAVIORS
The person applying critical thinking works to develop the following attitudes and characteristics independence of thought, fairness, insight into the personal and public level, humble intellect and postpone the crisis, spiritual courage, integrity, perseverance, self-confidence, research interest considerations not only behind the feelings and emotions but also behind the thoughts and curiosity ( 12 ).
Independence of Thought
Individuals who apply critical thinking as they mature acquire knowledge and experiences and examine their beliefs under new evidence. The nurses do not remain to what they were taught in school, but are “open-minded” in terms of different intervention methods technical skills.
Those who apply critical thinking are independent in different ways, based on evidence and not panic or personal and group biases. The nurse takes into account the views of both the younger and older family members.
Perspicacity into Personal and Social Factors
Those who are using critical thinking and accept the possibility that their personal prejudices, social pressures and habits could affect their judgment greatly. So, they try to actively interpret their prejudices whenever they think and decide.
Humble Cerebration and Deferral Crisis
Humble intellect means to have someone aware of the limits of his own knowledge. So, those who apply critical thinking are willing to admit they do not know something and believe that what we all consider rectum cannot always be true, because new evidence may emerge.
The values and beliefs are not always obtained by rationality, meaning opinions that have been researched and proven that are supported by reasons and information. The courage should be true to their new ground in situations where social penalties for incompatibility are strict. In many cases the nurses who supported an attitude according to which if investigations are proved wrong, they are canceled.
Use of critical thinking to mentally intact individuals question their knowledge and beliefs quickly and thoroughly and cause the knowledge of others so that they are willing to admit and appreciate inconsistencies of both their own beliefs and the beliefs of the others.
The perseverance shown by nurses in exploring effective solutions for patient problems and nursing each determination helps to clarify concepts and to distinguish related issues despite the difficulties and failures. Using critical thinking they resist the temptation to find a quick and simple answer to avoid uncomfortable situations such as confusion and frustration.
Confidence in the Justification
According to critical thinking through well motivated reasoning leads to reliable conclusions. Using critical thinking nurses develop both the inductive and the deductive reasoning. The nurse gaining more experience of mental process and improvement, does not hesitate to disagree and be troubled thereby acting as a role model to colleagues, inspiring them to develop critical thinking.
Interesting Thoughts and Feelings for Research
Nurses need to recognize, examine and inspect or modify the emotions involved with critical thinking. So, if they feel anger, guilt and frustration for some event in their work, they should follow some steps: To restrict the operations for a while to avoid hasty conclusions and impulsive decisions, discuss negative feelings with a trusted, consume some of the energy produced by emotion, for example, doing calisthenics or walking, ponder over the situation and determine whether the emotional response is appropriate. After intense feelings abate, the nurse will be able to proceed objectively to necessary conclusions and to take the necessary decisions.
The internal debate, that has constantly in mind that the use of critical thinking is full of questions. So, a research nurse calculates traditions but does not hesitate to challenge them if you do not confirm their validity and reliability.
4. IMPLEMENTATION OF CRITICAL THINKING IN NURSING PRACTICE
In their shifts nurses act effectively without using critical thinking as many decisions are mainly based on habit and have a minimum reflection. Thus, higher critical thinking skills are put into operation, when some new ideas or needs are displayed to take a decision beyond routine. The nursing process is a systematic, rational method of planning and providing specialized nursing ( 13 ). The steps of the nursing process are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation. The health care is setting the priorities of the day to apply critical thinking ( 14 ). Each nurse seeks awareness of reasoning as he/she applies the criteria and considerations and as thinking evolves ( 15 ).
Problem solving helps to acquire knowledge as nurse obtains information explaining the nature of the problem and recommends possible solutions which evaluate and select the application of the best without rejecting them in a possible appeal of the original. Also, it approaches issues when solving problems that are often used is the empirical method, intuition, research process and the scientific method modified ( 16 ).
This method is mainly used in home care nursing interventions where they cannot function properly because of the tools and equipment that are incomplete ( 17 ).
Intuition is the perception and understanding of concepts without the conscious use of reasoning. As a problem solving approach, as it is considered by many, is a form of guessing and therefore is characterized as an inappropriate basis for nursing decisions. But others see it as important and legitimate aspect of the crisis gained through knowledge and experience. The clinical experience allows the practitioner to recognize items and standards and approach the right conclusions. Many nurses are sensing the evolution of the patient’s condition which helps them to act sooner although the limited information. Despite the fact that the intuitive method of solving problems is recognized as part of nursing practice, it is not recommended for beginners or students because the cognitive level and the clinical experience is incomplete and does not allow a valid decision ( 16 ).
Research Process / Scientifically Modified Method
The research method is a worded, rational and systematic approach to problem solving. Health professionals working in uncontrolled situations need to implement a modified approach of the scientific method of problem solving. With critical thinking being important in all processes of problem solving, the nurse considers all possible solutions and decides on the choice of the most appropriate solution for each case ( 18 ).
The decision is the selection of appropriate actions to fulfill the desired objective through critical thinking. Decisions should be taken when several exclusive options are available or when there is a choice of action or not. The nurse when facing multiple needs of patients, should set priorities and decide the order in which they help their patients. They should therefore: a) examine the advantages and disadvantages of each option, b) implement prioritization needs by Maslow, c) assess what actions can be delegated to others, and d) use any framework implementation priorities. Even nurses make decisions about their personal and professional lives. The successive stages of decision making are the Recognition of Objective or Purpose, Definition of criteria, Calculation Criteria, Exploration of Alternative Solutions, Consideration of Alternative Solutions, Design, Implementation, Evaluation result ( 16 ).
The contribution of critical thinking in decision making
Acquiring critical thinking and opinion is a question of practice. Critical thinking is not a phenomenon and we should all try to achieve some level of critical thinking to solve problems and make decisions successfully ( 19 - 21 ).
It is vital that the alteration of growing research or application of the Socratic Method or other technique since nurses revise the evaluation criteria of thinking and apply their own reasoning. So when they have knowledge of their own reasoning-as they apply critical thinking-they can detect syllogistic errors ( 22 – 26 ).
In responsible positions nurses should be especially aware of the climate of thought that is implemented and actively create an environment that stimulates and encourages diversity of opinion and research ideas ( 27 ). The nurses will also be applied to investigate the views of people from different cultures, religions, social and economic levels, family structures and different ages. Managing nurses should encourage colleagues to scrutinize the data prior to draw conclusions and to avoid “group thinking” which tends to vary without thinking of the will of the group. Critical thinking is an essential process for the safe, efficient and skillful nursing practice. The nursing education programs should adopt attitudes that promote critical thinking and mobilize the skills of critical reasoning.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: NONE DECLARED.
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- Critical Thinking
Q&A: What is critical thinking and when would you use critical thinking in the clinical setting?
(Write 2-3 paragraphs)
In literature ‘critical thinking’ is often used, and perhaps confused, with problem-solving and clinical decision-making skills and clinical reasoning. In practice, problem-solving tends to focus on the identification and resolution of a problem, whilst critical thinking goes beyond this to incorporate asking skilled questions and critiquing solutions.
Critical thinking has been defined in many ways, but is essentially the process of deliberate, systematic and logical thinking, while considering bias or assumptions that may affect your thinking or assessment of a situation. In healthcare, the clinical setting whether acute care sector or aged care critical thinking has generally been defined as reasoned, reflective thinking which can evaluate the given evidence and its significance to the patient’s situation. Critical thinking occasionally involves suspension of one’s immediate judgment to adequately evaluate and appraise a situation, including questioning whether the current practice is evidence-based. Skills such as interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and self-regulation are required to interpret thinking and the situation. A lack of critical thinking may manifest as a failure to anticipate the consequences of one’s actions.
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.
The Paul-Elder framework has three components:
- The elements of thought (reasoning)
- The intellectual standards that should be applied to the elements of reasoning
- The intellectual traits associated with a cultivated critical thinker that result from the consistent and disciplined application of the intellectual standards to the elements of thought.
Critical thinking can be defined as, “the art of analysing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it”. The eight Parts or Elements of Thinking involved in critical thinking:
- All reasoning has a purpose (goals, objectives).
- All reasoning is an attempt to figure something out, to settle some question, to solve some problem .
- All reasoning is based on assumptions (line of reasoning, information taken for granted).
- All reasoning is done from some point of view.
- All reasoning is based on data, information and evidence .
- All reasoning is expressed through, and shaped by, concepts and ideas .
- All reasoning contains inferences or interpretations by which we draw conclusions and give meaning to data.
- All reasoning leads somewhere or has implications and consequence.
Q&A: To become a nurse requires that you learn to think like a nurse. What makes the thinking of a nurse different from a doctor, a dentist or an engineer?
It is how we view the health care consumer or aged care consumer, and the type of problems nurses deal with in clinical practice when we engage in health care patient centred care. To think like a nurse requires that we learn the content of nursing; the ideas, concepts, ethics and theories of nursing and develop our intellectual capacities and skills so that we become disciplined, self-directed, critical thinkers.
As a nurse you are required to think about the entire patient/s and what you have learnt as a nurse including; ideas, theories, and concepts in nursing. It is important that we develop our skills so that we become highly proficient critical thinkers in nursing.
In nursing, critical thinkers need to be:
Nurses need to use language that will clearly communicate a lot of information that is key to good nursing care, for handover and escalation of care for improving patient safety and reducing adverse outcomes, some organisations use the iSoBAR (identify–situation–observations–background–agreed plan–read back) format. Firstly, the “i”, for “identify yourself and the patient”, placed the patient’s identity, rather than the diagnosis, in primary position and provided a method of introduction. (This is particularly important when teams are widely spread geographically.) The prompt, “S” (“situation”) “o” for “observations”, was included to provide an adequate baseline of factual information on which to devise a plan of care. and “B” (“background”), “A” “agreed plan” and “R” “read back” to reinforce the transfer of information and accountability.
In clinical practice experienced nurses engage in multiple clinical reasoning episodes for each patient in their care. An experienced nurse may enter a patient’s room and immediately observe significant data, draw conclusions about the patient and initiate appropriate care. Because of their knowledge, skill and experience the expert nurse may appear to perform these processes in a way that seems automatic or instinctive. However, clinical reasoning is a learnt skill.
Key critical thinking skills – the clinical reasoning cycle / critical thinking process
To support nursing students in the clinical setting, breakdown the critical thinking process into phases;
This is a dynamic process and nurses often combine one or more of the phases, move back and forth between them before reaching a decision, reaching outcomes and then evaluating outcomes.
For nursing students to learn to manage complex clinical scenarios effectively, it is essential to understand the process and steps of clinical reasoning. Nursing students need to learn rules that determine how cues shape clinical decisions and the connections between cues and outcomes.
Start with the Patient – what is the issue? Holistic approach – describe or list the facts, people.
Collect information – Handover report, medical and nursing, allied health notes. Results, patient history and medications.
- New information – patient assessment
Process Information – Interpret- data, signs and symptoms, normal and abnormal.
- Analyse – relevant from non-relevant information, narrow down the information
- Evaluate – deductions or form opinions and outcomes
Identify Problems – Analyse the facts and interferences to make a definitive diagnosis of the patients’ problem.
Establish Goals – Describe what you want to happen, desired outcomes and timeframe.
Take action – Select a course of action between alternatives available.
Evaluate Outcomes – The effectiveness of the actions and outcomes. Has the situation changed or improved?
Reflect on process and new learning – What have you learnt and what would you do differently next time.
Scenario: Apply the clinical reasoning cycle, see below, to a scenario that occurred with a patient in your clinical practice setting. This could be the doctor’s orders, the patient’s vital signs or a change in the patient’s condition.
(Write 3-5 paragraphs)
Important skills for critical thinking
Some skills are more important than others when it comes to critical thinking. The skills that are most important are:
- Interpreting – Understanding and explaining the meaning of information, or a particular event.
- Analysing – Investigating a course of action, that is based upon data that is objective and subjective.
- Evaluating – This is how you assess the value of the information that you have. Is the information relevant, reliable and credible?
This skill is also needed to determine if outcomes have been fully reached.
Based upon those three skills, you can use clinical reasoning to determine what the problem is.
These decisions have to be based upon sound reasoning:
- Explaining – Clearly and concisely explaining your conclusions. The nurse needs to be able to give a sound rationale for their answers.
- Self-regulating – You have to monitor your own thought processes. This means that you must reflect on the process that lead to the conclusion. Be on alert for bias and improper assumptions.
Critical thinking pitfalls
Errors that occur in critical thinking in nursing can cause incorrect conclusions. This is particularly dangerous in nursing because an incorrect conclusion can lead to incorrect clinical actions.
A common illogical thought process is known as “appeal to tradition”. This is what people are doing when they say it’s always been done like this. Creative, new approaches are not tried because of tradition.
All people have biases. Critical thinkers are able to look at their biases and not let them compromise their thinking processes.
Biases can complicate decision making, communication and ultimately effect patient care.
Being closed-minded in nursing is dangerous because it ignores other team members points of view. Essential input from other experts, as well as patients and their families are also ignored which ultimately impacts on patient care. This means that fewer clinical options are explored, and fewer innovative ideas are used for critical thinking to guide decision making.
So, no matter if you are an intensive care nurse, community health nurse or a nurse practitioner, you should always keep in mind the importance of critical thinking in the nursing clinical setting.
It is essential for nurses to develop this skill: not only to have knowledge but to be able to apply knowledge in anticipation of patients’ needs using evidence-based care guidelines.
American Management Association (2012). ‘AMA 2012 Critical Skills Survey: Executive Summary’. (2012). American Management Association. http://playbook.amanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2012-Critical-Skills-Survey-pdf.pdf Accessed 5 May 2020.
Korn, M. (2014). ‘Bosses Seek ‘Critical Thinking,’ but What Is That?,’ The Wall Street Journal . https://www.wsj.com/articles/bosses-seek-critical-thinking-but-what-is-that-1413923730?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12483389912594473586204580228373641221834.html#livefyre-comment Accessed 5 May 2020.
School of Nursing and Midwifery Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle. (2009). Clinical reasoning. Instructors resources. https://www.newcastle.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/86536/Clinical-Reasoning-Instructor-Resources.pdf Accessed 11 May 2020
The Value of Critical Thinking in Nursing + Examples. Nurse Journal social community for nurses worldwide. 2020. https://nursejournal.org/community/the-value-of-critical-thinking-in-nursing/ Accessed 8 May 2020.
Paul And Elder (2009) Have Defined Critical Thinking As: The Art of Analysing And Evaluating …
https://www.chegg.com/homework-help/questions-and-answers/paul-elder-2009-defined-critical-thinking-art-analyzing-evaluating-thinking-view-improving-q23582096 Accessed 8 May 2020 .
Cody, W.K. (2002). Critical thinking and nursing science: judgment, or vision? Nursing Science Quarterly, 15(3), 184-189.
Facione, P. (2011). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Insight Assessment , ISBN 13: 978-1-891557-07-1.
McGrath, J. (2005). Critical thinking and evidence- based practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21(6), 364-371.
Porteous, J., Stewart-Wynne, G., Connolly, M. and Crommelin, P. (2009). iSoBAR — a concept and handover checklist: the National Clinical Handover Initiative. Med J Aust 2009; 190 (11): S152.
Planning your career 5 November 2021
Active Listening 4 November 2021
Ethical Leadership 4 November 2021
- Research article
- Open access
- Published: 07 October 2020
Impact of social problem-solving training on critical thinking and decision making of nursing students
- Soleiman Ahmady 1 &
- Sara Shahbazi ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8397-6233 2 , 3
BMC Nursing volume 19 , Article number: 94 ( 2020 ) Cite this article
The complex health system and challenging patient care environment require experienced nurses, especially those with high cognitive skills such as problem-solving, decision- making and critical thinking. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of social problem-solving training on nursing students’ critical thinking and decision-making.
This study was quasi-experimental research and pre-test and post-test design and performed on 40 undergraduate/four-year students of nursing in Borujen Nursing School/Iran that was randomly divided into 2 groups; experimental ( n = 20) and control (n = 20). Then, a social problem-solving course was held for the experimental group. A demographic questionnaire, social problem-solving inventory-revised, California critical thinking test, and decision-making questionnaire was used to collect the information. The reliability and validity of all of them were confirmed. Data analysis was performed using SPSS software and independent sampled T-test, paired T-test, square chi, and Pearson correlation coefficient.
The finding indicated that the social problem-solving course positively affected the student’ social problem-solving and decision-making and critical thinking skills after the instructional course in the experimental group ( P < 0.05), but this result was not observed in the control group ( P > 0.05).
The results showed that structured social problem-solving training could improve cognitive problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. Considering this result, nursing education should be presented using new strategies and creative and different ways from traditional education methods. Cognitive skills training should be integrated in the nursing curriculum. Therefore, training cognitive skills such as problem- solving to nursing students is recommended.
Peer Review reports
Continuous monitoring and providing high-quality care to patients is one of the main tasks of nurses. Nurses’ roles are diverse and include care, educational, supportive, and interventional roles when dealing with patients’ clinical problems [ 1 , 2 ].
Providing professional nursing services requires the cognitive skills such as problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking, and information synthesis [ 3 ].
Problem-solving is an essential skill in nursing. Improving this skill is very important for nurses because it is an intellectual process which requires the reflection and creative thinking [ 4 ].
Problem-solving skill means acquiring knowledge to reach a solution, and a person’s ability to use this knowledge to find a solution requires critical thinking. The promotion of these skills is considered a necessary condition for nurses’ performance in the nursing profession [ 5 , 6 ].
Managing the complexities and challenges of health systems requires competent nurses with high levels of critical thinking skills. A nurse’s critical thinking skills can affect patient safety because it enables nurses to correctly diagnose the patient’s initial problem and take the right action for the right reason [ 4 , 7 , 8 ].
Problem-solving and decision-making are complex and difficult processes for nurses, because they have to care for multiple patients with different problems in complex and unpredictable treatment environments [ 9 , 10 ].
Clinical decision making is an important element of professional nursing care; nurses’ ability to form effective clinical decisions is the most significant issue affecting the care standard. Nurses build 2 kinds of choices associated with the practice: patient care decisions that affect direct patient care and occupational decisions that affect the work context or teams [ 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 ].
The utilization of nursing process guarantees the provision of professional and effective care. The nursing process provides nurses with the chance to learn problem-solving skills through teamwork, health management, and patient care. Problem-solving is at the heart of nursing process which is why this skill underlies all nursing practices. Therefore, proper training of this skill in an undergraduate nursing program is essential [ 17 ].
Nursing students face unique problems which are specific to the clinical and therapeutic environment, causing a lot of stresses during clinical education. This stress can affect their problem- solving skills [ 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 ]. They need to promote their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to meet the complex needs of current healthcare settings and should be able to respond to changing circumstances and apply knowledge and skills in different clinical situations [ 22 ]. Institutions should provide this important opportunity for them.
Despite, the results of studies in nursing students show the weakness of their problem-solving skills, while in complex health environments and exposure to emerging diseases, nurses need to diagnose problems and solve them rapidly accurately. The teaching of these skills should begin in college and continue in health care environments [ 5 , 23 , 24 ].
It should not be forgotten that in addition to the problems caused by the patients’ disease, a large proportion of the problems facing nurses are related to the procedures of the natural life of their patients and their families, the majority of nurses with the rest of health team and the various roles defined for nurses [ 25 ].
Therefore, in addition to above- mentioned issues, other ability is required to deal with common problems in the working environment for nurses, the skill is “social problem solving”, because the term social problem-solving includes a method of problem-solving in the “natural context” or the “real world” [ 26 , 27 ]. In reviewing the existing research literature on the competencies and skills required by nursing students, what attracts a lot of attention is the weakness of basic skills and the lack of formal and systematic training of these skills in the nursing curriculum, it indicates a gap in this area [ 5 , 24 , 25 ]. In this regard, the researchers tried to reduce this significant gap by holding a formal problem-solving skills training course, emphasizing the common social issues in the real world of work. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the impact of social problem-solving skills training on nursing students’ critical thinking and decision-making.
Setting and sample
This quasi-experimental study with pretest and post-test design was performed on 40 undergraduate/four-year nursing students in Borujen nursing school in Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences. The periods of data collection were 4 months.
According to the fact that senior students of nursing have passed clinical training and internship programs, they have more familiarity with wards and treatment areas, patients and issues in treatment areas and also they have faced the problems which the nurses have with other health team personnel and patients and their families, they have been chosen for this study. Therefore, this study’s sampling method was based on the purpose, and the sample size was equal to the total population. The whole of four-year nursing students participated in this study and the sample size was 40 members. Participants was randomly divided in 2 groups; experimental ( n = 20) and control (n = 20).
The inclusion criteria to take part in the present research were students’ willingness to take part, studying in the four-year nursing, not having the record of psychological sickness or using the related drugs (all based on their self-utterance).
At the beginning of study, all students completed the demographic information’ questionnaire. The study’s intervening variables were controlled between the two groups [such as age, marital status, work experience, training courses, psychological illness, psychiatric medication use and improving cognitive skills courses (critical thinking, problem- solving, and decision making in the last 6 months)]. Both groups were homogeneous in terms of demographic variables ( P > 0.05). Decision making and critical thinking skills and social problem solving of participants in 2 groups was evaluated before and 1 month after the intervention.
All questionnaires were anonymous and had an identification code which carefully distributed by the researcher.
To control the transfer of information among the students of two groups, the classification list of students for internships, provided by the head of nursing department at the beginning of semester, was used.
Furthermore, the groups with the odd number of experimental group and the groups with the even number formed the control group and thus were less in contact with each other.
The importance of not transferring information among groups was fully described to the experimental group. They were asked not to provide any information about the course to the students of the control group.
Then, training a course of social problem-solving skills for the experimental group, given in a separate course and the period from the nursing curriculum and was held in 8 sessions during 2 months, using small group discussion, brainstorming, case-based discussion, and reaching the solution in small 4 member groups, taking results of the social problem-solving model as mentioned by D-zurilla and gold fried [ 26 ]. The instructor was an assistant professor of university and had a history of teaching problem-solving courses. This model’ stages are explained in Table 1 .
All training sessions were performed due to the model, and one step of the model was implemented in each session. In each session, the teacher stated the educational objectives and asked the students to share their experiences in dealing to various workplace problems, home and community due to the topic of session. Besides, in each session, a case-based scenario was presented and thoroughly analyzed, and students discussed it.
In this study, the data were collected using demographic variables questionnaire and social problem- solving inventory – revised (SPSI-R) developed by D’zurilla and Nezu (2002) [ 26 ], California critical thinking skills test- form B (CCTST; 1994) [ 27 , 28 ] and decision-making questionnaire.
SPSI-R is a self - reporting tool with 52 questions ranging from a Likert scale (1: Absolutely not – 5: very much).
The minimum score maybe 25 and at a maximum of 125, therefore:
The score 25 and 50: weak social problem-solving skills.
The score 50–75: moderate social problem-solving skills.
The score higher of 75: strong social problem-solving skills.
The reliability assessed by repeated tests is between 0.68 and 0.91, and its alpha coefficient between 0.69 and 0.95 was reported [ 26 ]. The structural validity of questionnaire has also been confirmed. All validity analyses have confirmed SPSI as a social problem - solving scale.
In Iran, the alpha coefficient of 0.85 is measured for five factors, and the retest reliability coefficient was obtained 0.88. All of the narratives analyzes confirmed SPSI as a social problem- solving scale [ 29 ].
California critical thinking skills test- form B(CCTST; 1994): This test is a standard tool for assessing the basic skills of critical thinking at the high school and higher education levels (Facione & Facione, 1992, 1998) [ 27 ].
This tool has 34 multiple-choice questions which assessed analysis, inference, and argument evaluation. Facione and Facione (1993) reported that a KR-20 range of 0.65 to 0.75 for this tool is acceptable [ 27 ].
In Iran, the KR-20 for the total scale was 0.62. This coefficient is acceptable for questionnaires that measure the level of thinking ability of individuals.
After changing the English names of this questionnaire to Persian, its content validity was approved by the Board of Experts.
The subscale analysis of Persian version of CCTST showed a positive high level of correlation between total test score and the components (analysis, r = 0.61; evaluation, r = 0.71; inference, r = 0.88; inductive reasoning, r = 0.73; and deductive reasoning, r = 0.74) [ 28 ].
A decision-making questionnaire with 20 questions was used to measure decision-making skills. This questionnaire was made by a researcher and was prepared under the supervision of a professor with psychometric expertise. Five professors confirmed the face and content validity of this questionnaire. The reliability was obtained at 0.87 which confirmed for 30 students using the test-retest method at a time interval of 2 weeks. Each question had four levels and a score from 0.25 to 1. The minimum score of this questionnaire was 5, and the maximum score was 20 [ 30 ].
For analyzing the applied data, the SPSS Version 16, and descriptive statistics tests, independent sample T-test, paired T-test, Pearson correlation coefficient, and square chi were used. The significant level was taken P < 0.05.
The average age of students was 21.7 ± 1.34, and the academic average total score was 16.32 ± 2.83. Other demographic characteristics are presented in Table 2 .
None of the students had a history of psychiatric illness or psychiatric drug use. Findings obtained from the chi-square test showed that there is not any significant difference between the two groups statistically in terms of demographic variables.
The mean scores in social decision making, critical thinking, and decision-making in whole samples before intervention showed no significant difference between the two groups statistically ( P > 0.05), but showed a significant difference after the intervention ( P < 0.05) (Table 3 ).
Scores in Table 4 showed a significant positive difference before and after intervention in the “experimental” group ( P < 0.05), but this difference was not seen in the control group ( P > 0.05).
Among the demographic variables, only a positive relationship was seen between marital status and decision-making skills (r = 0.72, P < 0.05).
Also, the scores of critical thinking skill’ subgroups and social problem solving’ subgroups are presented in Tables 5 and 6 which showed a significant positive difference before and after intervention in the “experimental” group (P < 0.05), but this difference was not seen in the control group ( P > 0.05).
In the present study conducted by some studies, problem-solving and critical thinking and decision-making scores of nursing students are moderate [ 5 , 24 , 31 ].
The results showed that problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and decision-making in nursing students were promoted through a social problem-solving training course. Unfortunately, no study has examined the effect of teaching social problem-solving skills on nursing students’ critical thinking and decision-making skills.
Altun (2018) believes that if the values of truth and human dignity are promoted in students, it will help them acquire problem-solving skills. Free discussion between students and faculty on value topics can lead to the development of students’ information processing in values. Developing self-awareness increases students’ impartiality and problem-solving ability [ 5 ]. The results of this study are consistent to the results of present study.
Erozkan (2017), in his study, reported there is a significant relationship between social problem solving and social self-efficacy and the sub-dimensions of social problem solving [ 32 ]. In the present study, social problem -solving skills training has improved problem -solving skills and its subdivisions.
The results of study by Moshirabadi (2015) showed that the mean score of total problem-solving skills was 89.52 ± 21.58 and this average was lower in fourth-year students than other students. He explained that education should improve students’ problem-solving skills. Because nursing students with advanced problem-solving skills are vital to today’s evolving society [ 22 ]. In the present study, the results showed students’ weakness in the skills in question, and holding a social problem-solving skills training course could increase the level of these skills.
Çinar (2010) reported midwives and nurses are expected to use problem-solving strategies and effective decision-making in their work, using rich basic knowledge.
These skills should be developed throughout one’s profession. The results of this study showed that academic education could increase problem-solving skills of nursing and midwifery students, and final year students have higher skill levels [ 23 ].
Bayani (2012) reported that the ability to solve social problems has a determining role in mental health. Problem-solving training can lead to a level upgrade of mental health and quality of life [ 33 ]; These results agree with the results obtained in our study.
Conducted by this study, Kocoglu (2016) reported nurses’ understanding of their problem-solving skills is moderate. Receiving advice and support from qualified nursing managers and educators can enhance this skill and positively impact their behavior [ 31 ].
Kashaninia (2015), in her study, reported teaching critical thinking skills can promote critical thinking and the application of rational decision-making styles by nurses.
One of the main components of sound performance in nursing is nurses’ ability to process information and make good decisions; these abilities themselves require critical thinking. Therefore, universities should envisage educational and supportive programs emphasizing critical thinking to cultivate their students’ professional competencies, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-efficacy [ 34 ].
The study results of Kirmizi (2015) also showed a moderate positive relationship between critical thinking and problem-solving skills [ 35 ].
Hong (2015) reported that using continuing PBL training promotes reflection and critical thinking in clinical nurses. Applying brainstorming in PBL increases the motivation to participate collaboratively and encourages teamwork. Learners become familiar with different perspectives on patients’ problems and gain a more comprehensive understanding. Achieving these competencies is the basis of clinical decision-making in nursing. The dynamic and ongoing involvement of clinical staff can bridge the gap between theory and practice [ 36 ].
Ancel (2016) emphasizes that structured and managed problem-solving training can increase students’ confidence in applying problem-solving skills and help them achieve self-confidence. He reported that nursing students want to be taught in more innovative ways than traditional teaching methods which cognitive skills training should be included in their curriculum. To this end, university faculties and lecturers should believe in the importance of strategies used in teaching and the richness of educational content offered to students [ 17 ].
The results of these recent studies are adjusted with the finding of recent research and emphasize the importance of structured teaching cognitive skills to nurses and nursing students.
Based on the results of this study on improving critical thinking and decision-making skills in the intervention group, researchers guess the reasons to achieve the results of study in the following cases:
In nursing internationally, problem-solving skills (PS) have been introduced as a key strategy for better patient care [ 17 ]. Problem-solving can be defined as a self-oriented cognitive-behavioral process used to identify or discover effective solutions to a special problem in everyday life. In particular, the application of this cognitive-behavioral methodology identifies a wide range of possible effective solutions to a particular problem and enhancement the likelihood of selecting the most effective solution from among the various options [ 27 ].
In social problem-solving theory, there is a difference among the concepts of problem-solving and solution implementation, because the concepts of these two processes are different, and in practice, they require different skills.
In the problem-solving process, we seek to find solutions to specific problems, while in the implementation of solution, the process of implementing those solutions in the real problematic situation is considered [ 25 , 26 ].
The use of D’zurilla and Goldfride’s social problem-solving model was effective in achieving the study results because of its theoretical foundations and the usage of the principles of cognitive reinforcement skills. Social problem solving is considered an intellectual, logical, effort-based, and deliberate activity [ 26 , 32 ]; therefore, using this model can also affect other skills that need recognition.
In this study, problem-solving training from case studies and group discussion methods, brainstorming, and activity in small groups, was used.
There are significant educational achievements in using small- group learning strategies. The limited number of learners in each group increases the interaction between learners, instructors, and content. In this way, the teacher will be able to predict activities and apply techniques that will lead students to achieve high cognitive taxonomy levels. That is, confront students with assignments and activities that force them to use cognitive processes such as analysis, reasoning, evaluation, and criticism.
In small groups, students are given the opportunity to the enquiry, discuss differences of opinion, and come up with solutions. This method creates a comprehensive understanding of the subject for the student [ 36 ].
According to the results, social problem solving increases the nurses’ decision-making ability and critical thinking regarding identifying the patient’s needs and choosing the best nursing procedures. According to what was discussed, the implementation of this intervention in larger groups and in different levels of education by teaching other cognitive skills and examining their impact on other cognitive skills of nursing students, in the future, is recommended.
Social problem- solving training by affecting critical thinking skills and decision-making of nursing students increases patient safety. It improves the quality of care because patients’ needs are better identified and analyzed, and the best solutions are adopted to solve the problem.
In the end, the implementation of this intervention in larger groups in different levels of education by teaching other cognitive skills and examining their impact on other cognitive skills of nursing students in the future is recommended.
This study was performed on fourth-year nursing students, but the students of other levels should be studied during a cohort from the beginning to the end of course to monitor the cognitive skills improvement.
The promotion of high-level cognitive skills is one of the main goals of higher education. It is very necessary to adopt appropriate approaches to improve the level of thinking. According to this study results, the teachers and planners are expected to use effective approaches and models such as D’zurilla and Goldfride social problem solving to improve problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. What has been confirmed in this study is that the routine training in the control group should, as it should, has not been able to improve the students’ critical thinking skills, and the traditional educational system needs to be transformed and reviewed to achieve this goal.
Availability of data and materials
The datasets used and analyzed during the present study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
California critical thinking skills test
Social problem-solving inventory – revised
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This article results from research project No. 980 approved by the Research and Technology Department of Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences. We would like to appreciate to all personnel and students of the Borujen Nursing School. The efforts of all those who assisted us throughout this research.
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Department of Medical Education, Virtual School of Medical Education and Management, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Virtual School of Medical Education and management, Shahid Beheshty University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Community-Oriented Nursing Midwifery Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
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SA and SSH conceptualized the study, developed the proposal, coordinated the project, completed initial data entry and analysis, and wrote the report. SSH conducted the statistical analyses. SA and SSH assisted in writing and editing the final report. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Correspondence to Sara Shahbazi .
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This study was reviewed and given exempt status by the Institutional Review Board of the research and technology department of Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences (IRB No. 08–2017-109). Before the survey, students completed a research consent form and were assured that their information would remain confidential. After the end of the study, a training course for the control group students was held.
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Ahmady, S., Shahbazi, S. Impact of social problem-solving training on critical thinking and decision making of nursing students. BMC Nurs 19 , 94 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-020-00487-x
Received : 11 March 2020
Accepted : 29 September 2020
Published : 07 October 2020
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-020-00487-x
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- Social problem solving
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The Value of Critical Thinking in Nursing
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Updated October 3, 2023
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Some experts describe a person's ability to question belief systems, test previously held assumptions, and recognize ambiguity as evidence of critical thinking. Others identify specific skills that demonstrate critical thinking, such as the ability to identify problems and biases, infer and draw conclusions, and determine the relevance of information to a situation.
Nicholas McGowan, BSN, RN, CCRN, has been a critical care nurse for 10 years in neurological trauma nursing and cardiovascular and surgical intensive care. He defines critical thinking as "necessary for problem-solving and decision-making by healthcare providers. It is a process where people use a logical process to gather information and take purposeful action based on their evaluation."
"This cognitive process is vital for excellent patient outcomes because it requires that nurses make clinical decisions utilizing a variety of different lenses, such as fairness, ethics, and evidence-based practice," he says.
How Do Nurses Use Critical Thinking?
Successful nurses think beyond their assigned tasks to deliver excellent care for their patients. For example, a nurse might be tasked with changing a wound dressing, delivering medications, and monitoring vital signs during a shift. However, it requires critical thinking skills to understand how a difference in the wound may affect blood pressure and temperature and when those changes may require immediate medical intervention.
Nurses care for many patients during their shifts. Strong critical thinking skills are crucial when juggling various tasks so patient safety and care are not compromised.
Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D., RN, is a nurse educator with a clinical background in surgical-trauma adult critical care, where critical thinking and action were essential to the safety of her patients. She talks about examples of critical thinking in a healthcare environment, saying:
"Nurses must also critically think to determine which patient to see first, which medications to pass first, and the order in which to organize their day caring for patients. Patient conditions and environments are continually in flux, therefore nurses must constantly be evaluating and re-evaluating information they gather (assess) to keep their patients safe."
The COVID-19 pandemic created hospital care situations where critical thinking was essential. It was expected of the nurses on the general floor and in intensive care units. Crystal Slaughter is an advanced practice nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) and a nurse educator. She observed critical thinking throughout the pandemic as she watched intensive care nurses test the boundaries of previously held beliefs and master providing excellent care while preserving resources.
"Nurses are at the patient's bedside and are often the first ones to detect issues. Then, the nurse needs to gather the appropriate subjective and objective data from the patient in order to frame a concise problem statement or question for the physician or advanced practice provider," she explains.
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Top 5 ways nurses can improve critical thinking skills.
We asked our experts for the top five strategies nurses can use to purposefully improve their critical thinking skills.
Slaughter is a fan of the case-based approach to learning critical thinking skills.
In much the same way a detective would approach a mystery, she mentors her students to ask questions about the situation that help determine the information they have and the information they need. "What is going on? What information am I missing? Can I get that information? What does that information mean for the patient? How quickly do I need to act?"
Consider forming a group and working with a mentor who can guide you through case studies. This provides you with a learner-centered environment in which you can analyze data to reach conclusions and develop communication, analytical, and collaborative skills with your colleagues.
Rhoads is an advocate for self-reflection. "Nurses should reflect upon what went well or did not go well in their workday and identify areas of improvement or situations in which they should have reached out for help." Self-reflection is a form of personal analysis to observe and evaluate situations and how you responded.
This gives you the opportunity to discover mistakes you may have made and to establish new behavior patterns that may help you make better decisions. You likely already do this. For example, after a disagreement or contentious meeting, you may go over the conversation in your head and think about ways you could have responded.
It's important to go through the decisions you made during your day and determine if you should have gotten more information before acting or if you could have asked better questions.
During self-reflection, you may try thinking about the problem in reverse. This may not give you an immediate answer, but can help you see the situation with fresh eyes and a new perspective. How would the outcome of the day be different if you planned the dressing change in reverse with the assumption you would find a wound infection? How does this information change your plan for the next dressing change?
Develop a Questioning Mind
McGowan has learned that "critical thinking is a self-driven process. It isn't something that can simply be taught. Rather, it is something that you practice and cultivate with experience. To develop critical thinking skills, you have to be curious and inquisitive."
To gain critical thinking skills, you must undergo a purposeful process of learning strategies and using them consistently so they become a habit. One of those strategies is developing a questioning mind. Meaningful questions lead to useful answers and are at the core of critical thinking .
However, learning to ask insightful questions is a skill you must develop. Faced with staff and nursing shortages , declining patient conditions, and a rising number of tasks to be completed, it may be difficult to do more than finish the task in front of you. Yet, questions drive active learning and train your brain to see the world differently and take nothing for granted.
It is easier to practice questioning in a non-stressful, quiet environment until it becomes a habit. Then, in the moment when your patient's care depends on your ability to ask the right questions, you can be ready to rise to the occasion.
Practice Self-Awareness in the Moment
Critical thinking in nursing requires self-awareness and being present in the moment. During a hectic shift, it is easy to lose focus as you struggle to finish every task needed for your patients. Passing medication, changing dressings, and hanging intravenous lines all while trying to assess your patient's mental and emotional status can affect your focus and how you manage stress as a nurse .
Staying present helps you to be proactive in your thinking and anticipate what might happen, such as bringing extra lubricant for a catheterization or extra gloves for a dressing change.
By staying present, you are also better able to practice active listening. This raises your assessment skills and gives you more information as a basis for your interventions and decisions.
Use a Process
As you are developing critical thinking skills, it can be helpful to use a process. For example:
- Ask questions.
- Gather information.
- Implement a strategy.
- Evaluate the results.
- Consider another point of view.
These are the fundamental steps of the nursing process (assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate). The last step will help you overcome one of the common problems of critical thinking in nursing — personal bias.
Common Critical Thinking Pitfalls in Nursing
Your brain uses a set of processes to make inferences about what's happening around you. In some cases, your unreliable biases can lead you down the wrong path. McGowan places personal biases at the top of his list of common pitfalls to critical thinking in nursing.
"We all form biases based on our own experiences. However, nurses have to learn to separate their own biases from each patient encounter to avoid making false assumptions that may interfere with their care," he says. Successful critical thinkers accept they have personal biases and learn to look out for them. Awareness of your biases is the first step to understanding if your personal bias is contributing to the wrong decision.
New nurses may be overwhelmed by the transition from academics to clinical practice, leading to a task-oriented mindset and a common new nurse mistake ; this conflicts with critical thinking skills.
"Consider a patient whose blood pressure is low but who also needs to take a blood pressure medication at a scheduled time. A task-oriented nurse may provide the medication without regard for the patient's blood pressure because medication administration is a task that must be completed," Slaughter says. "A nurse employing critical thinking skills would address the low blood pressure, review the patient's blood pressure history and trends, and potentially call the physician to discuss whether medication should be withheld."
Fear and pride may also stand in the way of developing critical thinking skills. Your belief system and worldview provide comfort and guidance, but this can impede your judgment when you are faced with an individual whose belief system or cultural practices are not the same as yours. Fear or pride may prevent you from pursuing a line of questioning that would benefit the patient. Nurses with strong critical thinking skills exhibit:
- Learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of other nurses
- Look forward to integrating changes that improve patient care
- Treat each patient interaction as a part of a whole
- Evaluate new events based on past knowledge and adjust decision-making as needed
- Solve problems with their colleagues
- Are self-confident
- Acknowledge biases and seek to ensure these do not impact patient care
An Essential Skill for All Nurses
Critical thinking in nursing protects patient health and contributes to professional development and career advancement. Administrative and clinical nursing leaders are required to have strong critical thinking skills to be successful in their positions.
By using the strategies in this guide during your daily life and in your nursing role, you can intentionally improve your critical thinking abilities and be rewarded with better patient outcomes and potential career advancement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Critical Thinking in Nursing
How are critical thinking skills utilized in nursing practice.
Nursing practice utilizes critical thinking skills to provide the best care for patients. Often, the patient's cause of pain or health issue is not immediately clear. Nursing professionals need to use their knowledge to determine what might be causing distress, collect vital information, and make quick decisions on how best to handle the situation.
How does nursing school develop critical thinking skills?
Nursing school gives students the knowledge professional nurses use to make important healthcare decisions for their patients. Students learn about diseases, anatomy, and physiology, and how to improve the patient's overall well-being. Learners also participate in supervised clinical experiences, where they practice using their critical thinking skills to make decisions in professional settings.
Do only nurse managers use critical thinking?
Nurse managers certainly use critical thinking skills in their daily duties. But when working in a health setting, anyone giving care to patients uses their critical thinking skills. Everyone — including licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced nurse practitioners —needs to flex their critical thinking skills to make potentially life-saving decisions.
Meet Our Contributors
Crystal Slaughter, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNE
Crystal Slaughter is a core faculty member in Walden University's RN-to-BSN program. She has worked as an advanced practice registered nurse with an intensivist/pulmonary service to provide care to hospitalized ICU patients and in inpatient palliative care. Slaughter's clinical interests lie in nursing education and evidence-based practice initiatives to promote improving patient care.
Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D., RN
Jenna Liphart Rhoads is a nurse educator and freelance author and editor. She earned a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and an MS in nursing education from Northern Illinois University. Rhoads earned a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in nursing education from Capella University where she researched the moderation effects of emotional intelligence on the relationship of stress and GPA in military veteran nursing students. Her clinical background includes surgical-trauma adult critical care, interventional radiology procedures, and conscious sedation in adult and pediatric populations.
Nicholas McGowan, BSN, RN, CCRN
Nicholas McGowan is a critical care nurse with 10 years of experience in cardiovascular, surgical intensive care, and neurological trauma nursing. McGowan also has a background in education, leadership, and public speaking. He is an online learner who builds on his foundation of critical care nursing, which he uses directly at the bedside where he still practices. In addition, McGowan hosts an online course at Critical Care Academy where he helps nurses achieve critical care (CCRN) certification.
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Best States to Work as a Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Joelle Y. Jean
Published November 6, 2023
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