Congruency in defining critical thinking by nurse educators and non-nurse scholars


This study investigated nurse educators' definition of the concept critical thinking. A sample of 201 baccalaureate nurse educators in midwest nursing programs completed a questionnaire identifying their perception of critical-thinking skills and characteristics, and their agreement with non-nurse critical-thinking experts on items often considered to be critical thinking. This study found that nurse educators agreed with non-nurse critical-thinking experts on the skills and dispositions; however, significant differences were found between nurse educators and non-nurse experts regarding concepts related to critical thinking. Nurse educators were more likely to identify researching, problem-solving, decision-making, and planning as critical thinking. Despite their assertion otherwise, it is apparent from this study that nurse educators have a different perception of critical thinking than scholars in other disciplines. This study suggests that practice disciplines such as nursing may perceive critical thinking differently than educators in nonpractice disciplines.


Biomedical Sciences

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Journal of Nursing Education