Nurse Educators' Critical Thinking: A Mixed Methods Exploration

  • Author / Creator
    Raymond-Seniuk, Christy L
  • Critical thinking is an important indicator of student learning and is an essential outcome of baccalaureate nursing education. The role of nurse educators in the development of students’ critical thinking has been overlooked despite the importance of their actions to facilitate critical thinking in nursing education. How nurse educators reveal their critical thinking in practice is also unknown. The purpose of this study was to explore nurse educators’ critical thinking in clinical practice. I utilized a mixed methods triangulated design with a grounded theory approach for the qualitative phase of the research. I employed three data collection approaches including critical thinking self-assessment tools (CCTST-California Critical Thinking Skills Test and CCTDI-California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory), participant observation, and interviews. As part of my exploration, I completed an integrative review of nursing research examining nurse educators’ critical thinking. The integrative review I completed highlighted issues such as the continued lack of a consensus definition of critical thinking and the limited presence of conceptual models to guide the use of critical thinking in nursing education. As well, the integrative review illuminated the emergence of some beginning patterns in the measurement of nurse educators’ critical thinking. The findings from my mixed methods study found that nurse educator participants had moderately strong critical thinking skills along with a positive inclination to think critically, as measured by the CCTST and CCTDI. These results are similar to other findings evident from the limited studies completed to date. My study captured one interpretation of how nurse educators revealed their critical thinking in clinical practice. Based on my interpretation, I created a conceptual model depicting how nurse educators’ show their critical thinking in the clinical setting. The important categories of this model include: a) fostering the student-educator relationship; b) role modeling critical thinking; c) mobilizing and operationalizing resources; as well as d) balancing factors that impact nurse educators’ critical thinking. My study’s findings inform what is known about nurse educators’ critical thinking and how it can be revealed in nurse educators’ teaching practice. Given my findings, I offer recommendations for future nursing education practice and research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Olson, Joanne (Nursing)
    • Strean, Billy (Faculty of Extension)
    • Koop, Priscilla (Nursing)
    • Myrick, Florence (Nursing)
    • Williams, Beverly (Nursing)
    • Brookfield, Stephen (External - Education)