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Critical thinking in nursing makes a significant difference to the health care profession as a whole.As the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates, nurses represent the largest health care occupation, holding over 2.75 million jobs.These include: A critical thinker: The above are skills that we would like to see in our nursing staff.
In nursing, critical thinking for clinical decision-making is the ability to think in a systematic and logical manner with openness to question and reflect on the reasoning process used to ensure safe nursing practice and quality care (Heaslip).
A key concept in critical thinking is the art of reflection. Robert Ennis at Illinois State University has identified key behaviors of critical thinkers.
The medical skills and critical thinking they bring to patient care have the power to enhance medical treatments for decades to come.
Learn more about the different types of nursing career specialties and nursing education options.
To create clarity – Can you explain more about this situation? If our organization does not take action to decrease our financial costs, what will happen when reimbursements decline? To inspire reflection – Why do you think you were successful in that situation?
What is different about today’s healthcare environment that when you initially began your career? To encourage breakthrough thinking – Is there another way that we could do this?Certainly, they provide medical care to patients, but more than that, they offer understanding, compassion and a chance for patients to talk through not just their physical reactions to treatment but their feelings about it. A recent article in John Hopkins University’s Nursing magazine, describes how a nurses’ relationships to patients proves vital to the field of health care research.Who better to offer observations, analysis and a human perspective of treatment than nurses in the thick of helping patients get through their care physically and emotionally?Developing critical thinking skills, nurses position themselves to manage and strategize patient care situations, deal with multiple physicians, family members and others involved in a patient’s treatment, and enhance their expertise in such a way as to truly excel in their occupation.Critical thinking in nursing is integral to a nurse practitioner’s success.With the focus today on evidence-based practice, nurse leaders need to promote a culture of critical thinking and inquiry.A culture of inquiry begins by valuing the use of questions in one’s own leadership practice.Judith Ross in a 2009 Harvard Business Review Blog suggested that the most effective questions create value.With the focus today on evidence-based practice, nurse leaders need to promote a culture of inquiry.When it comes to health care research, the critical thinking required in nursing practice plays a unique role.Of all the health care professionals involved in a patient’s treatment, none stay as closely involved in day-to-day care as nurses.