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2013, Cilt 3, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 244-251
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2013.083
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills of Undergraduate Nursing Students
Yalçın KANBAY, Özgür ASLAN, Elif IŞIK, Nurhayat KILIÇ
Artvin Çoruh University, School of Health, Department of Nursing, Artvin, Turkey
Keywords: Critical thinking, Problem solving, Nursing students

Due to the fact that critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential components of educational and social lives of individuals, this present study which investigate critical thinking and problem solving skills of undergraduate students of nursing was planned. This is a descriptive study. The study population consisted of undergraduate nursing students of a university during the 2011-2012 academic year. Any specific sampling method was not determined and only the voluntary students was enrolled in the study . Several participants were excluded due to incomplete questionnaires, and eventually a total of 231 nursing students were included in the final sampling. Socio Demographic Features Data Form and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Scale and Problem Solving Inventory were used for data collection. The mean age of 231 subjects (148 girls, 83 boys) was 21.34. The mean score of critical thinking was 255.71 for the first-grade, 255.57 for the second-grade, 264.73 for the third-grade, and 256.468 for the forth-grade students. The mean score of critical thinking was determined as 257.41 for the sample, which can be considered as an average value. Although there are mean score differences of critical thinking between the classes , they were not statistically significant (p> 0.05). With regard to the mean score of problem solving, the first-grade students had 92.86, the second-grade students had 94. 29, the third-grade students had 87.00, and the forth-grade students had 92.87. The mean score of problem solving was determined as 92.450 for the sample. Although there are differences between the classes in terms of mean scores of problem solving, it was not found statistically significant (p> 0.05). In this study, statistically significant correlation could not be identified between age and critical thinking skills of the subjects (p>0.05). However, a negative correlation was identified at low levels between critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. Accordingly, problem solving scores increased in parallel to an increase in the critical thinking scores. Problem Solving Inventory is a measuring tool indicating an increase in the problem solving skills in parallel to a decrease in the scores. Therefore, as the critical thinking skills of individuals go up, their problem solving skills also increase. Furthermore, according to the outcomes of the study, critical thinking and problem solving skills of the students did not show any correlation between genders (p>0.05). As a result, we concluded that the mean scores of critical thinking skills were found at medium levels among nursing students and the mean scores of critical thinking and problem-solving skills between the classes displayed no differences. In addition, no relationship between the age and gender of the subjects and their critical thinking and problem solving skills was identified. Moreover, in parallel to an increase in the scores of critical thinking skills, problem solving skills also increased.

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