The term ‘critical thinking’ is often used interchangeably with problem-solving and clinical decision-making in nursing literature.
Problem-solving focuses on identification and resolution, whereas critical thinking goes beyond this and incorporates asking questions and critiquing solutions.
They somehow have to learn to think critically about unfamiliar areas like finance, budgeting, staffing, strategic planning, and quality assurance.
Without critical thinking skills, nurse managers can’t make day-to-day decisions strategically, with an eye toward advancing the goals of the organization.
In the past, staff nurses with seniority were given first choice of days off, leaving more junior nurses dissatisfied.
The reactive way of thinking would be continue on with this same policy – without challenging current assumptions about seniority, fairness, and staff satisfaction.
There are many skills necessary to be an effective critical thinker.
Decision-making and critical thinking need to happen together in order to produce reasoning, clarification, and potential solutions.