Critical thinking includes metacognition, the examination of one’s own reasoning or thought processes while thinking, to help strengthen and refine thinking skills.
Independent judgments and decisions evolve from a sound and the ability to synthesize information within the context in which it is presented.
When thinking critically, a person will do the following: Critical thinking requires going beyond basic problem solving into a realm of inquisitive exploration, looking for all relevant factors that affect the issue, and being an “out-of-the-box” thinker.
It includes questioning all findings until a comprehensive picture emerges that explains the phenomenon, possible solutions, and creative methods for proceeding.
Critical thinking in nursing practice results in a comprehensive patient plan of care with maximized potential for success.
Using critical thinking to develop a plan of nursing care requires considering the human factors that might influence the plan.
Although the questions will vary according to the particular clinical situation, certain general inquiries can serve as a basis for reaching conclusions and determining a course of action.
To become a professional nurse requires that you learn to think like a nurse.
Nurses must use critical thinking skills in all practice settings—acute care, ambulatory care, extended care, and in the home and community.
Regardless of the setting, each patient situation is viewed as unique and dynamic.