A nursing educator's & nursing students' perspectives of critical thinking in a baccalaureate nursing program: A case study

Mary E Hobus, Marquette University

Abstract

This study was designed to identify and investigate a nursing educator's, nursing students' and registered nurses' perspectives of critical thinking in a baccalaureate nursing program, during learning experiences. It also explored the degree to which student's perceptions of critical thinking are demonstrated in their nursing practice in the clinical learning setting. Finally, the study identified instructional methods and strategies that the nursing educator and the registered nurses utilized to facilitate and promote critical thinking. This study is important because critical thinking is essential in providing safe, competent, effective, and efficient nursing care. Using an interpretative case study design, I investigated both the place and importance of critical thinking in a baccalaureate nursing education program through the use of: fieldwork in the classroom and clinical areas; interviews with a nursing educator, nursing students, and registered nurses, event analysis, and document analysis. Analysis provided rich contextually-specific data that clearly demonstrated the importance of nursing educators and registered nurses supporting nursing students in learning how to critically think when providing nursing care, while also illuminating the complexities and challenges of the actual practice of educating nursing students in both the classroom and the clinical learning setting. I argue that changes in both the classroom and clinical learning settings are required to transform nursing education to focus more directly on enhancing the learning of critical thinking among nursing students during the practice of nursing. In finding that nursing students need better designed and managed opportunities to learn how to think about and care for complex and critically ill patients, I end the study with a number of recommendations for reforming the practice of nurse educators and registered nurses that are focused on either the classroom or clinical learning setting.

Recommended Citation

Mary E Hobus, "A nursing educator's & nursing students' perspectives of critical thinking in a baccalaureate nursing program: A case study" (January 1, 2008). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI3306513.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI3306513

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