Applying critical thinking into an already crowded nursing curriculum is particularly challenging for nurse educators. Active participation is required to become a proficient critical thinker. Nurses who decide to become affluent in critical thinking must make a personal commitment to critical thinking. Simulative exercises can be used as a method to teach the tenets of critical thinking.2
Critical thinking could be subdivided into process elements or knowledge elements. Process elements are related to problem-solving, decision making and outcomes, whereas knowledge elements referred to nursing knowledge and nursing experience.
Cultural differences can affect how critical thinking is understood and applied. For example, in the United States, decision making is considered an active component of critical thinking, whereas, in Thailand, there was a strong association between happiness and critical thinking.
Personal factors can influence the way we perceive and practice critical thinking. For example, decreased nursing knowledge and lack of time can negatively impact a nurse's ability to exercise critical thinking.
As newer nurses get trained, it is imperative that critical thinking becomes integrated into their education and training as it becomes more apparent that critical thinking has become essential for their daily work.
To ensure competence in critical thinking, nurses should practice on both simple and complex healthcare scenarios. Given that they are required to make decisions in seconds, that may mean the difference between positive and negative patient outcomes.