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critical thinking, elder care, geriatric nursing, situational awareness



  1. Heffner, Susan MEd, BSN, RN, CPAN
  2. Rudy, Sally MSN, RN


In today's complex healthcare environment, it is more important than ever that nurses possess critical thinking skills to provide optimal care for their patients. This article offers a definition of critical thinking for nurses and describes the importance of critical thinking in the care of our growing elderly patient population. Examples related to geriatric nursing care, including acute care, dementia care, and end-of-life care, are provided to reinforce the importance of critical thinking and its benefits to our elderly patient population.