wangensteen s., johansson i.s., björkström m.e. & nordström g. (2010) Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing 66(10), 2170–2181.
Aim. The aim of the study was to describe critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses in Norway, and to study whether background data had any impact on critical thinking dispositions.
Background. Competence in critical thinking is one of the expectations of nursing education. Critical thinkers are described as well-informed, inquisitive, open-minded and orderly in complex matters. Critical thinking competence has thus been designated as an outcome for judging the quality of nursing education programmes and for the development of clinical judgement. The ability to think critically is also described as reducing the research–practice gap and fostering evidence-based nursing.
Methods. A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed. The data were collected between October 2006 and April 2007 using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory. The response rate was 33% (n = 618). Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to analyse the data.
Results. Nearly 80% of the respondents reported a positive disposition towards critical thinking. The highest mean score was on the Inquisitiveness subscale and the lowest on the Truth-seeking subscale. A statistically significant higher proportion of nurses with high critical thinking scores were found among those older than 30 years, those with university education prior to nursing education, and those working in community health care.
Conclusion. Nurse leaders and nurse teachers should encourage and nurture critical thinking among newly graduated nurses and nursing students. The low Truth-seeking scores found may be a result of traditional teaching strategies in nursing education and might indicate a need for more student-active learning models.