Critical Thinking as an Approach to Knowledge in Nursing

Critical thinking is a challenging approach to knowledge and commonly accepted wisdom. A person thinks critically if he or she questions what is accepted as accurate. In nursing, critical thinking is used to solve the problems of patients and their care. It is also meant to apply creativity when making decisions about patient care. When comes evidence-based practice, it is the use of the most current and relevant information in the decision-making processes of medical workers regarding the individual care of patients. The evidence-based practice aims to integrate the clinical practice of nursing practitioners, the needs of patients, and the best available scientific research while tackling the issues.

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Both critical thinking and evidence-based practice are significant for nurses to provide adequate care to patients. Critical thinking based on evidence-based research ensures an optimal and creative solution for different kinds of problems. Indeed, a systematic literature review of 1079 nursing students found a positive correlation between evidence-based practice and teaching on students’ critical thinking (Cui et al., 2018). As such, it is seen that these two concepts of critical thinking and evidence-based practice are related to each other.

Applying evidence-based practice provides credibility to nurses’ actions in patient care, making patients calm about their treatment and believe in medical workers. It is crucial to provide a learning culture and cooperation among nurses to facilitate evidence-based practice in nursing (Mathieson et al., 2019). After such facilitators, evidence-based practice can be effective in decision-making processes. Along with evidence-based practice, critical thinking is also essential to obtaining positive patient care results (Riegel et al., 2018). Creative and innovative methods can be more helpful than traditional ones; thus, developing critical thinking should be the top priority for nurses. However, before using any new techniques, nursing practitioners should communicate with patients and identify their needs.


Cui, C., Li, Y., Geng, D., Zhang, H., & Jin, C. (2018). The effectiveness of evidence-based nursing on development of nursing students critical thinking: A meta-analysis. Nurse Education Today, 65, 46-53.

Riegel, F., & Crossetti, M. D. G. O. (2018). Theoretical frameworks and instruments for evaluation of critical thinking in nursing and education. Revista Gaucha de Enfermagem, 39, e20170097-e20170097.

Mathieson, A., Grande, G., & Luker, K. (2019). Strategies, facilitators and barriers to implementation of evidence-based practice in community nursing: a systematic mixed-studies review and qualitative synthesis. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 20.

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