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Acute care, Critical thinking, Decision making



  1. Shoulders, Bridget MS, ACNP-BC, CCRN-CMC
  2. Follett, Corrinne MS, FNP-BC, CCRN, RN-BC, RCIS
  3. Eason, Joyce MS, ANP-BC, RN-BC


The complexity of patients in the critical and acute care settings requires that nurses be skilled in early recognition and management of rapid changes in patient condition. The interpretation and response to these events can greatly impact patient outcomes. Nurses caring for these complex patients are expected to use astute critical thinking in their decision making. The purposes of this article were to explore the concept of critical thinking and provide practical strategies to enhance critical thinking in the critical and acute care environment.