Selected Correlates of Critical Thinking In Diploma Nursing Students
The Problem: The purpose of this study was to determine if significant relationships existed among critical thinking and psychomotor skills and selected experiential, demographic and educational variables in first semester diploma nursing students. Procedure: Beginning nursing students were administered the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal to measure critical thinking ability. After instructional information was reviewed, students were observed for psychomotor skill performance using a skills checklist form developed by their instructors. Additional data obtained from student files included: age, gender, high school and previous higher education GPA, previous work experience, and previous courses in higher education. Findings: Significant correlations were found between ability to think critically and age, total previous courses taken, and courses taken in behavioral sciences. No significant relationship was found between ability to think critically and psychomotor skill performance, high school GPA, or GPA from previous courses taken in higher education. No significant difference was found between ability to think critically and gender or previous work experience. Conclusions: Factors that influence critical thinking ability should be considered as entrance requirements to diploma nursing programs. Nursing educators influence students’ ability to think critically and attain competency at performing psychomotor skills. Students should be assessed in various ways throughout their nursing education for attainment of critical thinking and psychomotor skills. Recommendations: Recommendations for future research include replication of the study using a different sample and an investigation of methods utilized in teaching critical thinking skills in nursing education.
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