Critical thinking. Strategies for clinical practice

J Nurses Staff Dev. 1998 Nov-Dec;14(6):267-72. doi: 10.1097/00124645-199811000-00002.


Critical thinking is an elusive concept. As a profession, nursing has yet to accept a universal definition of critical thinking. Despite the lack of consensus, nurse leaders in academia and practice settings overwhelmingly agree that critical thinking is essential. It is clear, considering the healthcare environment, nurses need to use critical thinking as a process for decision making in the clinical arena. This article clarifies critical thinking in practice by illuminating the imperative role it plays. Suggestions for fostering critical thinking, including specific strategies, provide a framework for practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Process*
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Staff Development
  • Thinking*