How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills in a Nursing Student


Critical thinking skills are essential in nursing. Student nurses need to be taught how to problem-solve from the moment they step into the classroom to help them prepare for the real world of nursing. The goal is to help your students solve problems and come up with solutions on their own, almost like it's second nature. This is especially important for students who will be working in any critical care unit or emergency department. Developing these skills in your students is imperative, but it can be fun as well.

  • Offer a variety of clinical training opportunities. Teaching from textbooks can deliver the basics, but nursing students need to be exposed to real-world situations. This helps them learn to think on their feet and seek help from the proper place when necessary.

  • Make class time into a critical thinking game to provide some motivation and stimulation. Set up different situations that occur in nursing and have the students give examples of what they would do. Dividing your nursing students into teams will also help them learn to collaborate.

  • Hold group discussions to brainstorm solutions to common nursing problems. This will help students to think outside the box and learn from each other.

  • Use dummies and mock illnesses in the classroom to test your students. You will see how they interact with "patients" and as a nursing teacher, you'll be able to critique them and give the students guidance, so they can improve their critical thinking skills.

  • Purchase some videos and other materials to help supplement your teaching. Getting another perspective on nursing theory can help students understand it better and develop their own method of critical thinking.

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