This week’s Learning Resources explore skill development and levels of knowledge acquisition based on clinical experience. For example, Benner suggests that as a nurse gains more experience, knowledge and skill level increases. Nurses move from novices—making decisions based on rules—to experts who are able to see connections between actions and outcomes using critical thinking. This Discussion focuses on the role of critical thinking in nursing practice and the connection between critical thinking, clinical competence, and scholarship. To prepare:
- Review the Learning Resources focusing on critical thinking and Benner’s interpretation of the Novice to Expert theory.
- Reflect on how critical thinking is used in clinical practice. How does critical thinking relate to, or support, clinical competence?
- What critical thinking strategies do you use to improve your clinical competence and thus move from novice to expert?
- Consider the connection between critical thinking, nursing practice, and scholarship.