Tips from BESD: Facilitating critical thinking in new nurses

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 30, 2010

Critical thinking is the ability to recognize problems and raise questions, gather evidence to support answers and solutions, evaluate alternative solutions, and communicate effectively with others to implement solutions for the best possible outcomes, It is a skill that evolves over time and with experience.

Nurses beginning their first job after graduation need help developing critical thinking skills. Pamela Schubert Bob, MHA, RN, CPN, NE-BC, nurse manager at Children's Hospital Boston, wanted to help facilitate critical thinking in new, or as she refers to them, "novice" nurses.

"I overheard one of my nurses tell a doctor, 'I don't know anything about that because I wasn't here yesterday,' " says Schubert Bob. "I cringed because this was an unacceptable response. I felt that younger, newer staff weren't seeing the big picture. They were looking at taking care of patients for a shift, instead of taking care of a patient as a whole."

Editor's note: Subscribers to Briefings on Evidence-Based Staff Development can read the rest of this article in the August 2010 issue. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to Briefings on Evidence-Based Staff Development.

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