Title : Critical thinking abilities among newly graduated Nurses of diploma, associate, and baccalaureate programs
The present study was to describe critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses in China, and to study whether background data had any impact on critical thinking dispositions. A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed. The data were collected between January 2018 and May 2018 using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory(CCTDI). The mean age of the participating nurses was 20.85±1.801 years. Overall, only 4.1% of new graduated students reported that they are interested in the nursing profession, while 40.8% were moderately and 66.1% were uninterested, respectively. Pressure from workplace was high for 68.4% of them. The mean critical thinking scores were 38.33±3.61,38.19±3.36 and 39.60±3.83 for new nurses of diploma, associate, and baccalaureate programs, respectively (P=0.006). Significant differences were found among three educational level nurses in terms of their mean scores for the open-mindedness, analysis and inquisitiveness subscales. New nurses with baccalaureate degree obtained the highest mean scores, respectively. When dichotomizing total CCTDI scores into high (i.e. strong disposition and positive inclination) and low (i.e. ambivalent and strong opposition towards critical thinking), nearly 80% of the respondents fell into low score group (i.e. 279 or lower), while approximately one-fifth (27%) fell into the high score group (i.e.280 or higher). No respondents reported strong opposition towards critical thinking. Using Pearson’s correlation coefficient, significant correlation was found among the new graduated nurses’ critical thinking scores and their age, educational level, whether reading professional literature and attitude towards the nursing profession. Nurse leaders and teachers should encourage and cultivate the critical thinking of newly graduated nurses and nursing students. The low score of Truth-seeking found in nursing education may be the result of traditional teaching strategies, and it may indicate that more students need active learning model.