Critical Thinking in Nursing and Critical Thinking for Nurses


Critical thinking is a skill that every person needs to be able to use at some point in their lives. It’s also essential for anyone who wants to be successful in nursing. Critical thinking is defined by as “the ability to think and act logically and rationally, especially with regard to interpreting information.” In other words, it’s your ability to make sense of what you see and hear in the world around you so that you can make good decisions about how best to handle situations.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is a way of thinking that helps you to solve problems, make decisions and evaluate information. Critical thinking skills are important for all individuals to develop so that they can make informed decisions about their own lives as well as those around them.

Critical thinking skills include:

  • problem-solving – identifying the best way forward when faced with a problem or challenge;
  • decision making – making effective choices based on evidence;
  • evidence-based practice – using appropriate research evidence in clinical practice settings (e.g., nursing).

How to develop and enhance critical thinking skills.

To develop and enhance critical thinking skills, you must:

  • Think critically about the information you are presented with. Ask yourself questions and analyze information to help you do your job better and improve your practice.
  • Use critical thinking skills in all aspects of your life, not just at work or school. For example, consider how well-thought-out decisions can improve relationships at home or on campus; how knowing more about something might change an opinion; how using fewer words could communicate more effectively; etc., etc., etc..

Critical Thinking in Nursing

Critical thinking is a process of thinking that helps nurses make sense of the world around them. It’s a tool that nurses can use to help them make better decisions and improve their practice, which will ultimately lead to improved patient care.

Critical thinking for nurses

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in order to make decisions. It’s one of the most important skills for nurses because it can help them make better decisions about their patients’ healthcare needs.

Critical thinking is not just about being able to think critically; it also requires that you be willing to question everything you know or think you know! You may have heard someone say “I don’t understand why we do things this way” before or “I never thought about it like that before.” These statements demonstrate critical thinking at work–they challenge our assumptions and open up new possibilities for how we should approach problems in our work lives as well as in life more generally.

Developing critical thinking skills is a lifelong journey.

Critical thinking skills are a lifelong journey. You can develop them through education, training, and experience. They’re useful in many situations–not just in nursing!

  • Developing critical thinking skills is a lifelong journey that starts with education and grows from there. In fact, I believe it’s the best way to learn anything new.*

Components of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a process of thinking that helps you to make better decisions. Critical thinking involves asking questions, analyzing information, and drawing conclusions. It’s not just about being able to think logically–it’s about being able to apply your knowledge in an appropriate way so that you can learn from your mistakes and make better decisions next time around.

Critical thinking involves developing the following skills:

  • Analysis: analysis of data gathered from observation or research; insight into causes & consequences of events; evaluating arguments based on facts rather than emotions or beliefs (i.e., “Is this true?” vs “I’m right”).
  • Assessment: evaluation by applying evidence-based criteria identified by experts in their field; assessment of gaps between expectations/wishes/needs vs reality when making choices (i.e., “If I got this house today instead of tomorrow would my life be better?” vs “What do I need more?”).

Critical thinking requires practice and repetition.

Critical thinking is a skill that needs to be practiced and repeated regularly. The best way to develop this skill is through repetition, which means you should do it often. It’s also important not only what you’re reading or watching but how you’re reading or watching it–and that includes pausing when necessary so that your mind can process what’s going on in each situation before moving on to another set of ideas.

Critical thinking requires practice and repetition because it’s not something we just pick up overnight; like any other mental ability, it takes time and effort over time before we get used to being able to use our critical thinking skills effectively in real-life situations (which are never quite as cut-and-dried as they seem).

Everyone needs to be able to think critically!

Everyone needs to be able to think critically!

Critical thinking is a skill that everyone can learn and develop, no matter what their age or background. It’s something you’ll use every day in your professional life, so it’s important to make sure you’re developing the right kind of critical thinking skills.

Critical Thinking Made Simple.

Critical thinking is a way of thinking that helps you make good decisions. It’s about being objective, logical, and open-minded. Critical thinkers use their knowledge to identify problems, evaluate evidence, and draw valid conclusions based on solid reasoning.

Critical thinking can help you make better decisions and improve your practice by:

  • Decision making: This skill involves being able to analyze the pros and cons of different options for solving a problem or making an important decision in your life (e.g., choosing which college major)
  • Problem-solving: This skill involves identifying problems with specific situations so that they can be resolved (e.g., determining why traffic flow was blocked because there was an accident)

Critical Thinking In Action: The Case of a Nurse.

In this case study, a nurse was faced with a decision on whether or not to give a patient an antibiotic. The patient had been admitted for an upper respiratory tract infection and was coughing and sneezing. The nurse’s clinical reasoning would suggest that giving the patient an antibiotic would help clear up the infection and decrease his symptoms (which would be good) and increase his risk of developing resistance to antibiotics (which could be bad).

The nurse’s critical thinking skills were necessary in order to make this decision because they enabled her to consider all possible outcomes before making her choice. She also used her critical thinking skills at work after making this decision so that she could ensure it wasn’t harmful to herself or others involved in caring for this patient

Ask yourself questions, analyze information, and draw conclusions to help you do your job better and improve your practice.

Ask questions.

Your patients want you to ask them questions, but it can be hard for nurses who are new to a practice or area of expertise. Asking good questions is one of the most important ways to help your patients and yourself. Ask open-ended questions rather than yes/no ones (e.g., “Is your shoulder hurting?”). Your goal here is not simply getting an answer, but rather learning more about what’s happening with them so that you can provide better care in the future. You might also consider asking follow-up open-ended questions if the initial ones don’t get enough information–for example: “What do we need to do next? How should we treat this?” This way, everyone involved knows where they stand on things and there isn’t confusion about what must happen next!

Analyze information from all sources available (including other people).


Critical thinking is a skill that every healthcare provider needs. Critical thinking helps us to be more effective and efficient in our practice, as well as better able to empathize with patients. This doesn’t mean that all your patients will be happy or satisfied with their care but it does mean you’ll be able to deal with them better than someone who doesn’t have this ability.