Critical thinking as an outcome of context-based learning among post RN students: a literature review.Nurse Educ Today. 2007 Jul; 27(5):420-6.NE
Increasingly complex needs and expanding roles in the delivery of health care require professional nurses to be capable critical thinkers and self-directed learners. Problem-based learning (PBL) is promoted as a mean to facilitate critical thinking (CT) in nursing students attending generic and post RN baccalaureate programs. The authors summarize and analyze nursing research and theoretical literature (1992-2005) related to four key topic areas: critical thinking, nursing education, PBL, and post RN education, to determine what is known about the impact of PBL on CT among post RN students. CINAHL, ERIC, Medline and PsychINFO databases were searched and based on the literature retrieved, there is no strong research evidence to suggest changes occur in baccalaureate nursing students' CT during their educational programs, including those using PBL. Similar results were found among post RN students although the literature on this topic is sparse. There is a need for additional research and ongoing development of valid and reliable instruments to measure CT in nurses to guide teaching and learning strategies that effectively facilitate CT among nursing students.