Exploring critical thinking disposition among fourth year BSC nursing students of various armed forces colleges of nursing, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Critical Thinking Dispositions in nursing are prominent predictors of competence in delivering high-quality care, and of professionalism, in newly graduated nurses. Critical thinking (CT) skills, in isolation of CT dispositions, do not guarantee success in the workplace, because CT dispositions are important elements of intellectual reasoning that simulate a person towards using the CT skills. Therefore, nursing educational programs should promote lifelong learning rather than focusing on transferring the content of nursing knowledge only. And for this purpose, quality education is the key. Education should focus on teaching from diverse perspectives, incorporating various teaching learning strategies that are congruent with the modern era. Objective: The purpose of this study is to explore critical thinking dispositions among final year Baccalaureate Nursing students of various Armed Forces Colleges of Nursing, in Pakistan. Methodology: A descriptive qualitative exploratory study design was used to investigate the dispositions in CT of BSc final year nursing students. The study population included twelve willing nursing students, from six military colleges, in Quetta, Lahore, Kharian, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Karachi. Demographic information and consent was taken from the participants of the study. In-depth interviews, through a semi structured interview guide, and probes were used to obtain data related to personal experiences of CT dispositions amongst the nursing students. Results: Data analysis showed two broad themes: 1) Perceptions of CT, and 2) Experiences of CT dispositions. In theme one, the emerging category was: a) Clarity of CT; whereas in theme two, the categories that emerged were: a) Truth Seeking, b) Open Mindedness, c) Inquisitiveness, and d) Self Organization. Conclusion: The findings of the study revealed positive dispositions towards truth seeking, open mindedness, and self-organization, whereas disposition towards inquisitiveness was weak. Self-confidence and maturity also emerged as positive factors that the students possessed. This study recommends that faculty and learners should extend their concept of CT dispositions, and emphasizes its application in daily routine. Additionally, faculty should modify their instructional strategies and focus on the cultivation of dispositions of inquisitiveness, curiosity, and allow questioning by students in the class.

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