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Enhancing Critical Thinking in Clinical Practice: Implications for Critical and Acute Care Nurses

Shoulders, Bridget MS, ACNP-BC, CCRN-CMC; Follett, Corrinne MS, FNP-BC, CCRN, RN-BC, RCIS; Eason, Joyce MS, ANP-BC, RN-BC

Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/DCC.0000000000000053
Clinical DIMENSION
Abstract

The complexity of patients in the critical and acute care settings requires that nurses be skilled in early recognition and management of rapid changes in patient condition. The interpretation and response to these events can greatly impact patient outcomes. Nurses caring for these complex patients are expected to use astute critical thinking in their decision making. The purposes of this article were to explore the concept of critical thinking and provide practical strategies to enhance critical thinking in the critical and acute care environment.

In Brief

The complexity of patients in the critical and acute care settings requires that nurses be skilled in early recognition and management of rapid changes in patient condition. The interpretation and response to these events can greatly impact patient outcomes. The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of critical thinking and provide practical strategies to enhance critical thinking in the critical and acute care environment.

Author Information

Bridget Shoulders, MS, ACNP-BC, CCRN-CMC, is a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Corrinne Follett, MS, FNP-BC, CCRN, RN-BC, RCIS, is a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Joyce Eason, MS, ANP-BC, RN-BC, is a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Bridget Shoulders, MS, ACNP-BC, 31047 Whitlock Dr, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 (bso1029@aol.com).

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