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How are critical thinking skills used in nursing?

Those who have a passion for helping others, nurturing abilities, and a passion for healthcare often turn toward nursing as a profession. There is another important skill that all aspiring nurses need to be successful, and that is critical thinking skills. The critical thinking process includes the ability to identify a problem, find a solution, and pick the most effective solution to the problem. Critical thinkers also need to know how to execute a plan and reflect on its performance. Critical thinking is a transferable skill that will serve you well in many areas of your life.

The importance of critical thinking in nursing 

If you are thinking of attending nursing or medical school, it is important to develop critical thinking. It is a skill that you can develop over time through practice and experience. Critical thinking involves applying reason and logic to solve problems and make better decisions. It will help you collaborate with others to solve problems and make better decisions as a nurse. As a nurse, you will always have to deal with new problems and situations. You will need to use your critical thinking skills to solve these problems, so you will always be relying on this skill.

For nurses, critical thinking is crucial because it will allow them to leverage their experience and the information they have on hand to make sound decisions. It enables them to plan, so any decisions they make will be effective. When providing care to patients, it is an essential skill for nurses to rely on. Critical thinking allows nurses to comprehend problems and devise innovative ways to solve them instead of responding automatically or reactively. All healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses, need to sharpen their critical thinking skills.

How critical thinking skills are used in nursing 

Nurses will need to make use of critical thinking every single day. It is an important skill that can help nurses take better care of their patients. While the technical aspects are important, critical thinking allows nurses to anticipate challenges and understand the requirements of their patients. Nurses will also encounter situations where there are several treatments or solutions available. They will be required to determine which treatment offers the best outcome with the least risk. Nurses will need to assess each situation quickly and make the right decision. This is where critical thinking can help nurses make the best decision.

Nurses must think beyond their tasks to provide good patient care. In many instances, nurses may be assigned tasks such as monitoring vital signs, delivering medications, and wound dressing. Nurses will need critical thinking skills to notice when wound differences affect temperature and blood pressure and if those changes require medical intervention. During their day, nurses have to care for many patients. They will need critical thinking skills when prioritizing tasks to ensure that patient safety is not compromised. When you enroll in an online ABSN program such as the one offered by Holy Family University, you will be introduced to the fundamental concepts, clinical reasoning, and the skills you need to deliver and evaluate nursing technologies and interventions.

Critical thinking skills all nurses need 

Using the Nursing Process framework, nurses can apply many critical thinking skills when delivering patient care. Some of the most important critical thinking skills that all nurses need are:

  • Interpretation– Understanding information or a specific event.
  • Analysis– Nurses also need to analyze data based on objective and subjective information and determine the right solution for a problem.
  • Evaluation– With evaluation skills, nurses need to evaluate the information at hand to determine if it is credible, reliable, and accurate. Nurses also need to determine if specific outcomes are fully achieved.
  • Sound reasoning– All decisions that nurses make should be based on sound reasoning. They should also be able to provide a concise, clear explanation and rationale for their decisions and actions.
  • Self-regulation– Nurses need to be highly aware of their thoughts and must be able to reflect on how their thinking affects their conclusion. They should look out for assumptions and biases and must be able to self-correct when needed.  

Developing critical thinking skills as a nurse 

If you are thinking about pursuing nursing as a profession, it is important to remember that you will have to continue learning and growing even after you graduate. Your experience in nursing will help you hone your critical thinking skills over time. As a critical thinker, you will be able to solve problems better because you will analyze all the information to hand before making any decisions. You will also be able to consider different perspectives when solving problems. Instead of jumping to conclusions quickly, you will have to take the time to think critically and look at every angle before making a decision.

When you are faced with a difficult situation, do not rely simply on your gut feeling. Instead, look at what information you have and analyze it critically to find the best solution. This is important because it will help you avoid making mistakes. It will also provide you with a way to realize that each situation is unique. You should take the time to identify potential problems and risks of each action before you make any decision. Compassion and empathy are important skills for nurses, but you will need to back them up with critical thinking. Your experience will help you develop a keen understanding of how your decisions may affect others so you will be more thoughtful about your actions. To be successful in nursing, you will need a variety of skills. Regardless of your specialty, you will need strong critical thinking abilities to succeed.      

You may already be using critical thinking in your daily life. Start strengthening this skill by practicing it every day. Over time, you will become better, and this skill will come naturally to you. This will help you every step of the way in your nursing career. If you’re still looking to get your nursing degree, visit

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