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Nurse educators' perceptions of critical thinking in developing countries: Ghana as a case study

Authors Boso CM, Gross J

Received 20 May 2015

Accepted for publication 9 July 2015

Published 4 September 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 555—560


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Christian Makafui Boso,1 Janet J Gross2,3

School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health Science and Allied Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana; 2Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, USA; 3School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

Abstract: The ability to critically evaluate information for the purpose of rendering health care is a prerequisite for modern nurses in a complex and ever-changing health care environment. The nurse educators’ perceptions influence the utilization of critical thinking strategies in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to assess nursing faculty’s perceptions of critical thinking. Using a questionnaire 106 nurse educators from two types of nursing educational program self-reported their perceptions. Data were collected from November 2013 to March 2014. Results were presented using frequencies, percentages, and t-test. The findings revealed that majority (95.3%) of nurse educators could not provide definitions that captured both affective and cognitive aspects of critical thinking. However, the majority of nurse educators had positive perceptions of critical thinking. Nurse educators in universities had more positive perceptions of critical thinking than those in the nurses’ training colleges (P=0.007). The results suggested that the current nursing programs are not preparing nurses with the necessary critical thinking skills for the complex health care environment. Professional development programs in critical thinking should be instituted for nurse educators to assist them in developing appropriate teaching strategies to foster students' acquisition of critical thinking skills.

Keywords: nurse educators, critical thinking, perceptions, Ghana, developing countries

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