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Critical Thinking Versus Clinical Reasoning Versus Clinical Judgment: Differential Diagnosis

Victor-Chmil, Joyce MS, RN-BC, MHA

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e318276dfbe
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Concepts of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment are often used interchangeably. However, they are not one and the same, and understanding subtle difference among them is important. Following a review of the literature for definitions and uses of the terms, the author provides a summary focused on similarities and differences in the processes of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment and notes suggested methods of measuring each.

Author Affiliation: Director, Clinical Nursing Simulation Center. School of Nursing, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Victor-Chmil, Wilkes University School of Nursing, 84 West South St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 (joyce.chmil@wilkes.edu).

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.