APA format*** 1 paragraph for each response below***at least 4-5 sentences each paragraph***2 References***



What do you think a supervisor can do to improve critical thinking in their nursing staff?

Dr. Allen



Critical thinking as defined by Elder (2007) is, “self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism” (Walden University, 2010).

Critical thinking is a skill used in the clinical setting among nurses. One example of how nurses use critical thinking is with medication administration. Nurses use their clinical judgment when deciding to administer an “as needed” drug such as pain medicine before a patient has physical therapy or a non-invasive procedure. Nurses in the ICU use critical thinking when titrating blood pressure drips. This task may appear to be primarily a technical process, but it requires astute critical thinking. It is evident in these examples that safe administration of medication involves critical thinking beyond the 5 rights that nurses are taught in the academic setting (Eason, et al., 2014).

Critical thinking can be nurtured by several strategies in order to improve clinical competence. Questions and answers are one way to enhance critical knowledge. In fact, the ability to ask an appropriate and penetrating question is one of the most powerful thinking tools we possess. Using questioning to reinforce learning is an excellent tool in development of critical thinking (Mun, 2010). I use journal writing to enhance my critical thinking skills, a strategy I was taught to use in nursing school. This allows me to look at the overall picture of my patient and see what plan of care may or may not be working well.

There are defined connections between critical thinking, scholarship, and practice. According to Kurland (2000), there are six key characteristics of critical thinking: rationality, self-awareness, honesty, open-mindedness, discipline, and judgment (Walden University, 2010). Novice nurses must develop these skills by guidance and teaching from an experienced nurse, such as a preceptor or nurse manager. Both Dreyfus and Dreyfus and Benner estimated that it takes approximately five years to move through the five stages from novice to expert but also elaborated that not all novices become experts (Kaminski, 2010).

We should all aspire to be scholar practitioners in our field of practice, but it takes a bold attitude to move past the norms and find new and innovative ways to improve the processes. I have been a nurse for almost five years and consider myself very competent in what I do. I want to advance further to be the expert in my field and for that I am furthering my degree and continuing to learn, experience and ask questions in all that I do.


Eason, J., Follett, C., Shoulders, B. (2014). Enhancing critical thinking in clinical practice: Implications for acute and critical care nurses. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 33(4), 207-214. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org

Mun, M. (2010). An analysis of narratives to identify critical thinking contexts in psychiatric clinical practice. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 16(1), 75-80. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost

Kaminski, J. (2010). Theory applied to informatics- Novice to expert. Canadian journal of nursing informatics, 5(4). Retrieved from http://cjni.net/journal/?p=967

Walden University Writing Center. (2010). What us critical thinking? Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/ASCsuccess/ASCst…

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