Critical thinking in traditional and non-traditional nursing students
In today's healthcare environment there is greater use of technology and an increase in patient acuity. It is imperative for nurses and nursing students to develop and improve critical thinking skills. Many schools of nursing have designed creative ways to enhance critical thinking skills and prepare future nurses to be competent problem solvers. The topic of critical thinking and appropriate means of measurement continues to be a hallenge for nursing faculty (Smith, 2005). The purpose of this study is to examine differences in dispositions toward critical thinking and critical thinking skills in traditional and non-traditional nursing students in their last semester of a two-year nursing degree program. This will be a modified replication of Smith's (2005) study. The study will be guided by a conceptual framework centered on cognitive skill acquisition and predisposing factors, gleaned from research in the fields of nursing, psychology ande social sciences. The sample will consist of 60 students in their final year of a two-year nursing degree program in one Midwestern state. Thirty participants will be traditional students while the remaining thirty will be non-traditional students. The methods of measurement will be the California Critical Thinking Skills Test and the California Critical Thinking skills and dispositions between traditional and non-traditional nursing.