Critical Thinking Skills for Charge Nurses


Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate decision making from critical thinking.
  • Demonstrate the benefit of applying critical-thinking skills to the decision-making process.
  • List four essential traits of critical thinkers.
  • Use critical-thinking process to make informed decisions.



Topics and Samples


1. The Decision Making Process

As a charge nurse, decision making is a major component of your work. Have you ever thought about how you make decisions when you are faced with complex situations? It’s possible that you have made decisions on the basis of your intuition or a hunch. Or maybe you have followed the path of least resistance. To make the best decisions when faced with complex situations, effective leaders and charge nurses follow a decision-making process. Purposeful decision-making using a systematic approach will help you solve problems, improve performance, and manage the tempo of your unit.

2. Introduction to Critical Thinking

This topic briefly introduces the concept of critical thinking and its relationship to decision making through presentation and two activities.

3. Four Essential Traits of Critical Thinkers

Critical thinkers have unique character traits and skills that set them apart from the rest of the crowd. In this topic, four essential traits of critical thinkers – open-minded, self-aware, detail-oriented, and independent thinker – and their relevance to the decision making process will be reviewed.

4. Key Skills – Analyzing, Evaluating, and Reasoning

In this topic, three key critical thinking skills – analyzing, evaluating, and reasoning – will be discussed and applied through interactive activities.

5. Putting It All Together

This topic provides a summary of the concepts presented in the course. Participants apply all the information they have learned through a case study activity.