Remember your first clinical nursing experiences—what influenced your decisions? Did you follow the book when it came to nursing? Consider how you make decisions right now. How have your clinical experiences aided in the development of greater depth of knowledge and critical thinking?

This week’s Learning Resources look at skill development and knowledge levels based on clinical experience. Benner, for example, claims that as a nurse’s experience grows, so does her knowledge and skill level. Nurses progress from novices who make decisions based on rules to experts who use critical thinking to see connections between actions and outcomes. The purpose of this Discussion is to discuss the role of critical thinking in nursing practice and the relationship between critical thinking, clinical competence, and scholarship.

To get ready:

Examine the Learning Resources that emphasize critical thinking and Benner’s interpretation of the Novice to Expert theory.
Consider how critical thinking is applied in clinical practice. What is the relationship between critical thinking and clinical competence?
What critical thinking strategies do you employ to advance your clinical competence and progress from novice to expert?
Take a look at the relationship between critical thinking, nursing practice, and scholarship.
By the third day
Post your observations on how critical thinking is used in clinical practice (with examples); how you use critical thinking strategies to improve clinical competence; and your thoughts on the links between critical thinking, scholarship, and practice.

Use APA formatting to support your Discussion assignment with specific resources used in its preparation. You must provide a reference for all resources, including those in this course’s Learning Resources.


Week 6 focuses on critical thinking, reading, and analysis.
As you have seen in previous weeks, critical thinking is an important aspect of scholarship.
To be an effective scholar-practitioner, you must understand how this skill applies to your professional practice. What exactly is the connection between critical thinking and clinical competency? In your practice setting, how will you employ effective critical thinking strategies?

You spent the last week studying critical thinking and its application in nursing practice.

Objectives of Learning
Students will explain the connection between critical thinking and clinical competency.
Investigate the relationship between critical thinking, clinical competence, and scholarship.
Resources for Learning
Please click on the link to the Course Readings List, which can be found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus, to access this week’s required library resources.
Readings Required
S. Berkow, K. Virkstis, J. Stewart, S. Aronson, and M. Donohue (2011). Individual frontline nurse critical thinking is being evaluated.
doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182118528. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(4), 168–171.

Please keep in mind that you will be accessing this article through the Walden Library databases.

This article’s authors created a tool to assess 25 critical thinking skills deemed necessary for frontline nurses.
S. Jenkins (2011). Critical thinking from a cross-cultural perspective.
doi:10.3928/01484834-20110228-02. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(5), 268–274.

Please keep in mind that you will be accessing this article through the Walden Library databases.

This article seeks to expand on common characteristics of critical thinking by investigating the impact of culture on its definition. They compare the perceptions of critical thinking among nursing students in the United States and Thailand.
G. Marchigiano, N. Eduljee, and K. Harvey (2011). A pilot study of nursing students’ self-reported perceptions of developing critical thinking skills through clinical assignments.

Please keep in mind that you will be accessing this article through the Walden Library databases.

The purpose of this article is to look at student experiences in the clinical setting that help them develop critical thinking skills.
S. Zori, L. J. Nosek, and C. M. Musil (2010). Nurse managersâ€TM critical thinking in relation to staff RNsâ€TM perceptions of the practice environment

Please keep in mind that you will be accessing this article through the Walden Library databases.

Nurse leaders who have strong critical thinking skills create a better work environment for others. This article investigates that influence and its impact on patient safety and quality care delivery.

J. Kaminski (2010). The application of theory to informatics—from novice to expert. The fifth issue of the Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics is now available (4). retrieved

Kaminski discusses the Novice to Expert Theory and how it applies to nursing practice.

Current Nursing Practice (2011). Nursing Theories: From Novice to Expert is a companion to nursing theories and models. theory/Patricia_…

Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory, as applied to nursing, is described on this website.

SGNA (n.d.). Content level definitions have been expanded.…

On this website, you can look at a variety of acquisition models, including Bennen’s, which was adapted from the Dryefus model.

The University of Walden (2012j). Critical reading at Walden University’s writing center. was retrieved.

It is critical to read research articles or information found on the Internet with a critical eye when evaluating them. The Walden Writing Center has a wealth of excellent resources and strategies for critical reading.
The Writing Center at Walden University (2010). What exactly is critical thinking? Thinking (Final).pdf


The Walden Writing Center offers a brief overview of critical thinking and critical reading. This brief article defines critical thinking and its characteristics.