Nurse Critical Thinking

At all times, nurses are responsible for their actions and are accountable for nursing judgment and action or inaction.The speed and ability by which the nurses make sound clinical judgement is affected by their experience.Novice nurses may find this process difficult, whereas the experienced nurse should rely on her intuition, followed by fast action.

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Yet a manager with critical thinking skills might look at alternatives that improve staff satisfaction and enhance the goal of self-governance – and then form a unit committee to produce a holiday schedule with sufficient staffing.

To further develop critical thinking skills outside of clinical areas, nurse managers can adopt the following habits: One way nurse managers can develop critical thinking is to start writing in a reflective journal.

A Medscape article about critical thinking skills for nurse managers illustrated, with a hypothetical example, the difference a strong leader can make.

It presented a case study about a manager facing a scheduling conflict over the holidays.

They concluded that nurse managers with stronger critical thinking skills were better able to create positive practice environments that correlated with higher job satisfaction and better retention of staff nurses.

Nurses who work in a positive environment are thought to be less susceptible to the effects of burnout, putting them in a better position to deliver high-quality care and keep patients safe.

Without these skills, a manager may fall back on reactive, automatic responses to problems – and miss the opportunity to make changes that are visionary and goal-driven.

In 2010, a group of nurse researchers designed a study that would allow them to measure the effects of a manager’s critical thinking skills on the attitude of the floor nurses that person was managing.

Nursing practice demands that practitioners display sound judgement and decision-making skills as critical thinking and clinical decision making is an essential component of nursing practice.

Nurses’ ability to recognize and respond to signs of patient deterioration in a timely manner plays a pivotal role in patient outcomes (Purling & King 2012).


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