Tips from TSE: Concept mapping helps improve new grad’s critical thinking skills

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, January 8, 2010

Helping nurses develop and enhance their critical thinking skills is part of the staff development specialist's role. But it can be challenging when working with orientees who are newly licensed RNs or are RNs who are assuming new responsibilities. A way to help facilitate critical thinking skills is to use the process of concept mapping.

Concept mapping is an innovative critical thinking approach to planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care. A concept map is a written diagram or graph of assessment findings and interventions, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of those interventions. Nurses must think critically when preparing a concept map. They must prioritize patient needs and identify how patient findings, interventions, and evaluation are linked to promoting desired patient outcomes.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the January 2010 issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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