Critical thinking skills for back to school
Charlotte Davis BSN, RN, CCRN

Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!
October 2014 
Volume 12  Number 5
Pages 11 - 13
  PDF Version Available!

Thinking about returning to school or have you recently returned? If so, then you need to hone your critical thinking skills. These are skills you use every day in your practice-the purposeful, disciplined, intellectual process of applying skillful reasoning as a guide to our thoughts, assessments, or interventions.In nursing, critical thinking is a logical and multifaceted process that guides our clinical decision making. It's a systematic and logical approach that encourages us to question our current nursing interventions through logical reasoning and reflection. Critical thinking requires us to ask: "Is this the best way to perform this intervention? Or is this the most effective intervention for my patient or my work area?"So how can you put these skills to work when going back to school? Let's take a closer look.There are seven critical thinking skills that all nurses utilize in their professional roles.Our job roles call for us to analyze objective and subjective data. As clinical nurses, we utilize the critical thinking skill of objectively analyzing the efficacy of new evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions as we incorporate them into our daily practice.When returning to school, use your analytical skills to compare each school's curriculum and costs to ensure they meet your professional goals.All members of the healthcare team should utilize their intellectual integrity and apply professional and organizational standards of care into their daily practice. As nurses, we apply professional standards to ensure that we remain proficient and competent in our job roles. Common places to search for professional standards are your state board of nursing, the American Nurses Association, or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Professional standards are the basic guidelines and principles around which we base our interventions and care plans. They help us ensure clinically competent, skillful, and safe care.Utilize your critical thinking skill of applying

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