Issues Associated with Critical Thinking in Nursing Continuing Education
The need for evidence-based care practices, patient-centered care, patient satisfaction, and the increasing issues in staff shifting has made healthcare delivery more demanding and complex. Therefore, critical thinking (CT) has gained more significance in nursing competency and high performance (Pitt et al., 2015). For instance, it is of importance when improving patientsâ€™ outcomes by enhancing the ability of nurses to perform evidence-based care practice. Furthermore, it is also a requirement when improving the care environment, particularly by nursing managers. Hence, it should be introduced early in nursing pedagogy to allow for its development through practice and experience.
The aspect of critical thinking is a complex and multi-dimensional cognitive process that largely depends on ambiguity tolerance and reflective thinking in nursing care decision-making. It includes inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, creative thinking, attitude, skills, knowledge, and any other components that entail nursing care processes and problem-solving approaches. This paper aims to examine the issues associated with the assessment and evaluation of critical thinking in nursing continuing education.
Senita (2017) explains that continuing nursing education has been exposed to rigid classroom organization and clinical experiences, with predetermined learning outcomes over the years. This has been clearly defined by the state Boards of Nursing and other nursing education accrediting institutions, thereby, allowing little room for effective individual learner support on the various learning perspectives. It also impacts the incorporation of nursing pedagogy into instructional approaches for clinical experience planning. She explains that personal perspective is of high significance when crafting the strategies aimed at understanding how nursing learners develop and use thinking skills in critical thinking and decision-making.
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