An approach to defining and operationalizing critical thinking

J Nurs Educ. 1997 Jan;36(1):19-22. doi: 10.3928/0148-4834-19970101-06.


The faculty in a midwestern university confronted the imperative to define and measure critical thinking in the nursing undergraduate curriculum. Theoretical and operational definitions were developed by faculty through literature review, extensive discussion, student participation, and evaluation. These activities also led to the generation of a list of indicators to assess the presence of critical thinking. Through the process faculty have developed a deeper understanding of critical thinking and fostered students' critical thinking abilities.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Concept Formation
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Faculty, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Logic*
  • Nursing Process*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology
  • Thinking*