Critical Thinking in Nursing Process

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 1
Words: 327
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Bachelor

Critical thinking can and is encouraged to be used during all phases of the nursing process. Critical is helpful for nurses in the process of problem-solving and decision-making process regarding the treatment of patients (Papathanasiou et al., 2014). In the assessment stage, it is necessary to make reliable observations and ultimately distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information and data. This requires close attention and using critical thinking to evaluate symptoms, patient history, and other potential influences. In the diagnosis stage, critical thinking is the most crucial as the nurse has to connect the key pieces of information with known data about disease and the human body to accurately and specifically pinpoint what the illness may be. It requires great perception and independence of thought, which translates observations into evidence. The next stage of the process is planning, during which developing an action and treatment plan for the patient is necessary, encompassing both evidence-based practices as well as the unique individualities of the patient (ranging from the condition itself to their socioeconomic situation). A treatment plan has to be effective but flexible, one that would best guarantee good outcomes and adherence from the patient, with some creativity that requires careful consideration of many factors.

In the next phase of the nursing process, implementation, the treatment is applied and followed through by the provider. This is where decision-making comes into play, and the nurse must decide on the correct choices of action for the patient when facing multiple needs of the patients. There is significant consideration occurring and weighing of priorities to decide what can help the patient, using potentially complex decision-making or theoretical frameworks based on the criteria of consideration. Finally, the evaluation phase is needed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment process and if optimal outcomes were achieved given the unique characteristics of a patient. In evaluation, critical thinking is necessary to collect important points and data, conduct analysis, and consider what could have been improved.


Papathanasiou, I., Kleisiaris, C., Fradelos, E., Kakou, K., & Kourkouta, L. (2014). Critical thinking: The development of an essential skill for nursing students. Acta Informatica Medica, 22(4), 283. Web.