Date of Award

Summer 1989

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ivanoff, John

Second Advisor

Kachoyeanos, Mary

Third Advisor

Wake, Madeline


The purpose of this study was to determine whether selected demographic variables and the curricular model in baccalaureate nursing programs had a relationship to critical thinking scores of senior baccalaureate nursing students. Because critical thinking is considered an expected outcome of professional education, the literature review included an investigation of the nature of critical thinking, issues related to education, specifically nursing education, and research related to critical thinking in nursing education and practice. The study included the determination of the sample, a description of the data collection process, and selection of curricular models from model descriptions by expert reviewers. Three curricular models, developmental, eclectic and systems, were identified in the nursing programs used in this study. The findings of the study were based on 299 senior nursing students selected from 11 of the 12 baccalaureate nursing programs in the state of Wisconsin. The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal-Form A, was the instrument used to measure critical thinking abilities of senior baccalaureate nursing students. The findings of the study were that there was no significant relationship noted between curricular models and critical thinking scores. No significant differences were noted among age, sex, years of work experience or education and critical thinking scores. There was a significant difference noted between GPA and critical thinking scores and GPA appears to be positively associated with student's critical thinking abilities. A significant difference was noted between senior baccalaureate nursing students in Wisconsin and nurses in universities in the Midwest. Implications of the study findings for nursing education were discussed and recommendations made.



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