Critical Thinking Framework For Nursing Research

The South African health care and education systems are challenged to provide independent, critical thinking nurses who can cope with diversity in a creative way and define their role in a complex, uncertain, rapidly changing health care environment. Quality clinical judgement is an imperative characteristic that newly qualified professional nurses should possess. To accommodate these needs, SANC in line with the SAQA Act, advocated the development of teaching and learning strategies to balance theory and practice opportunities together with an outcome-based, studentcentred approach and appropriate clinical supervision. This resulted in a positive outcome to facilitate the integration/fusion of theory and practice. The purpose of this study was to synthesise a teaching–learning strategy for creating an enabling learning environment to facilitate clinical judgement in South African undergraduate nursing students. The proposed teaching–learning strategy is grounded in modern-day constructivist approach of learning. The conceptual or theoretical framework of this study aimed to link the central concepts that were identified from the conclusions of four (4) strategic objectives of the two preceding phases of the study into a new structure of meaning that served as a basis for the proposed strategy. The implementation of the proposed action plan to achieve the stated strategic objectives should empower the relevant role players to facilitate clinical judgement in undergraduate nursing students and thereby promote autonomous and accountable nursing care.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a framework to guide critical thinking through reflective journaling, and describe how a group of 20 Middle Eastern nurses used reflective journaling to enhance their practice. Journal documentation was used during clinical practicum to foster the development of critical thinking in order to assist nurses when analysing and evaluating their clinical experiences. The findings from this study demonstrated that nurses accepted the framework for journal documentation because it provided structure for reflection, speculation, synthesis and metacognition of events experienced during clinical practice. Journaling gave nurses the opportunity to transfer thoughts onto paper and write down subjective and objective data, and created dialogue between the nurse educators and nurses. They were engaged in productive and positive activity to enhance their nursing practice. Nurses also commented that writing helped to develop their confidence in writing English.

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