Aim and purpose: To assess the difference between the predominant critical thinking disposition(s) and learning styles of nursing students in the conventional (Stream I) and the accelerated (Stream II) baccalaureate nursing education programmes. This study will be beneficial to students, faculty and institutions as it will help them to acquire better understanding of critical thinking potentials and learning styles of nurses, as well as the relationship between learning styles and critical thinking dispositions.
Method: This was a descriptive correlational study. The convenience sample consisted of 80 Stream I and 50 Stream II students. The following instruments were used for data collection: The Learning Styles Inventory of Kolb and the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory of Facione and Facione. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.
Results: Overall, Stream II students were significantly more critical thinkers (P = 0.000), inquisitive (P = 0.000) and self-confident (P = 0.002). The predominant learning styles of Streams I and II were the diverger and the converger, respectively, with no difference except in relation to their learning abilities, namely, concrete experience (P = 0.017), in favour of Stream I. Further, the findings indicate a weak (range of r = 0.209–0.328) though significant (range of P = 0.017–0.000) correlation between learning abilities and various critical thinking dispositions.