A quantitative study exploring undergraduate nursing students’ perception of their critical thinking and clinical decision making ability while using apps at the point of care

Monique G. Sedgwick, Olu Awosoga, Lance Grigg, Jenna-Marie Durnin


The purpose of this study was to explore how a smartphone app influences undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions of their critical thinking and clinical decision making ability at the point of care. Using a pretest-posttest approach, the findings suggest that there were no statistically significant differences in the participants’ perception of their critical thinking and clinical decision making ability over time. Statistically significant findings on four questionnaire items pertaining to participants’ perception in their ability to engage in evidence based practice over time suggests that experience with app, led the participants to believe the app provided them with the information they needed in order to engage in evidence based practice. Consequently, they were less likely to seek information from other sources. Although having learning resources available in clinical practice environments might enhance critical thinking ability, perhaps counterintuitively, the findings in this study suggest that having access to a clinical mobile app did not positively influence the participants’ perceived critical thinking ability. Nurse educators therefore, must teach students how to be active learners as well as role model the proper use of critical thinking skills. Students need to be reminded to use institutional policies and procedure manuals as well as other appropriate sources of information. Last, students need to see registered nurses use critical thinking and clinical decision making dispositions by asking comprehensive questions, exploring assumptions and inferences, and incorporating varying resources into their decisions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n10p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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