Background and Aim: Aging of population, increased cultural and social differences in societies, increased rate of chronic diseases, reduction of financial resources, the flash-like technological changes, emphasis on home care, increased trend toward patient-centered care and evidence based practice have resulted in more complexity in clinical environments. Providing standard safe and effective care in such environmental conditions can only be achieved by development of critical thinking skills in the nursing staff. There are many definitions about critical thinking in nursing. Many of these explanations are complicated, without significant relation to the clinical and professional performances.
Material and Methods: We used eight step Rodgers’ concept analysis method to provide a clear definition about critical thinking in clinical nursing to determine antecedents, attributes and consequences. We searched valid online data bases for in English and Persian articles from 1995 to 2014. Finally, 58 articles 3 dissertations and 2 chapters from two books were analyzed by means of Rodger's inductive approach.
Results: The results of this study showed that, critical thinking in clinical nursing have 3 antecedents and 6 attributes including Use of nursing process in clinical situation, holistic and comprehensive performance، Use of different patterns in order to achieve understanding, Using emotional intelligence skills in facing with clinical situations, facing with factors for critical thinking and elements of critical thinking. Achievement of critical thinking leads to positive outcomes such as effective and patient-centered care, creativity, evidence based practice and professionalism.
Conclusions: The result of this study let to development of a clear and comprehensive definition of critical thinking in clinical nursing. This definition can correct many misconceptions and misuses of the concept of critical thinking. The findings also can help clinical nurses to create a framework and guidelines for effective clinical performance. This framework can, guarantee the competency in nursing
Key words: Critical Thinking, Concept Analysis, Clinical Nursing, Iran.
Received: Nov 14, 2016 Accepted: Feb 7, 2017