Critical Thinking Skills for the New Graduate Nurse
Critical Thinking Skills for a New Graduate Nurse
Nursing is an art and a science. The profession is an art of compassion and caring in a creative way. Creativity allows nurses to individualize nursing care. Through science, nurses obtain the skills and technology they rely on to achieve each patient's optimal health ("Nursing", n.d.). Florence Nightingale became a nurse because she wanted to help those less fortunate. Her compassion and concern gave her the motivation she needed to help others. She strived to improve nursing and the lives of those she touched. To become a professional nurse requires that you learn to think like a nurse. Florence Nightingale thought like a nurse. What makes the thinking of a nurse different from a doctor, a dentist or an engineer? It is how they view the client and the type of problems they deal with in practice when they engage in patient care. To think like a nurse requires that nurses learn the content of nursing; the ideas, concepts and theories of nursing and develop their intellectual capacities and skills so that graduate and even the experienced nurse become disciplined, self-directed, critical thinkers. Nurses are the backbone of our Health Care System today. Caring for the sick is only one of the various duties that nurses perform every day. Today, nurses work in areas of Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and they support patients and their families cope with illness and emergencies. Nursing is not just a job, it is a profession. A profession is any occupation in which you need specialized knowledge and training. It’s usually applied to occupations that involve a formal qualification, and Nursing happens to be one of those. Nursing combines a set of skills that include critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, communication and knowledge. With trends and requirements of nursing evolving so rapidly this essay will identify the importance of new graduate nurses being able to be critical thinkers and function in today’s rapidly growing multiple healthcare settings. Graduation is an important milestone for nursing students, as it is the beginning of a new career after years of theory in the field of nursing. After graduation, graduate nurses experience a daunting task of first, passing boards, then finding a job or area of nursing they desire to start their nursing career in; but having such skills as critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, communication and knowledge will give the graduate nurse an advantage. What is known is the first few months of nursing can be the most challenging and stressful for new nursing graduates; the first year of practice is an importance confidence-building phase for nurses (Morrow, 2009). Critical thinking (trying to achieve an optimal solution) is the ability to recognize problems and raise questions, gather evidence to support answers and solutions, evaluate alternative solutions, and communicate effectively with others to implement solutions for the best possible outcomes (Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2010). It is believed that if nurses can critical think, they can become flexible, creative and communicate in ways that will advance the profession of nursing. However, as novice nurses, graduate nurses begin their first jobs after graduation and generally need help developing critical thinking skills. Faced with the demands of a dynamic and complex healthcare system, contemporary nursing practice needs effective thinkers and decision makers (Harjai & Tiwari, 2009). As a new graduate nurse, the goal should be to eliminate irrelevant, inconsistent and illogical thoughts as we reason about client care. Nurses use language to clearly communicate in-depth information that is significant to nursing care. Nurses are not focused on the trivial or irrelevant. Nurses who are critical thinkers hold all their views and reasoning to these standards as well as, the...
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