Essay Critical Thinking: Beneficial in Nursing Education

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that critical thinking (CT) is an integral part of each step in the nursing process (ANA, 2010). Educating nurses in critical thinking begins during nursing school. National League for Nursing‘s (NLN) expectations for nursing students is that they are capable of incorporating CT into their practice (Roberts & Petersen, 2013). Nursing students who successfully learn to critically think are better prepared to function in a dynamic patient care setting. Complex situations require a nurse to fully interpret all information, analyze it, and come up with the best solution to the problem. Nurses should be capable of using higher level critical thinking in order to achieve the best outcome for…show more content…
Safety is essential in the nursing environment. As reported by Fero, Witberger, Wesmiller, Zullo and Hoffman (2008), nursing students are required to meet the minimal standards of care to ensure patient safety. Critical thinking allows students to make effective judgments in determining which nursing actions are most beneficial for patients in clinical settings. Students are able to “recognize changes in patient conditions [and] perform independent nursing intervention”. Teaching CT skills early in nursing education allows students to obtain a “a skill set” to improving patient care and promoting safety (Fero, Witberger, Wesmiller, Zullo & Hoffman , 2008). Ruth Roberts and Sandra Petersen (2013) identified how critical thinking promotes patient safety directly through “recognizing a unique situation, using reasoned judgment, and remaining open-minded” (Roberts & Petersen, 2013). Creative strategies enable students to assist the needs of patients that are most effective while ensuring the safety of the client as well as for themselves. Critical thinking directs individuals to investigate and reflect on all clinical observations in order to make the best decisions from a patient given set of circumstances. It is effective in the diagnostic portions of the nursing process, while increasing nursing competence and ensuring patient safety. CT is what makes nursing a growing and well respected
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