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Thinking Critically

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.


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