Date of Award

Fall 9-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patricia Talbert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Anthony Goss, Ph.D.


Nurse educators are required to prepare students with the CT skills to solve complex problems, make sound clinical judgments, and decisions in nursing practice. This study explored the strategies used by nurse educators to foster critical thinking in nursing education for first-year nursing students in a community college. The research questions of this study were aligned with Bloom’s revised taxonomy, based on the work of Anderson et al. (2001) and Krathwohl (2002), who focused on the learner’s cognitive processes that transfer knowledge to a higher level of thinking. The selected method was a qualitative methodology with a phenomenological design. The themes that emerged from the nurse educators’ responses related to the students’ ability to gather information, assimilate information, and apply it to the patient’s situation to problem-solve for solutions. All the nurse educators agreed that the habits of mind (HOM) and critical thinking were important concepts needed for problem-solving. The HOM—confidence, flexibility, intuition, and reflection—were stated as most important and inquisitiveness, perseverance, and open-mindedness were least important. Debriefing clinical experiences, the use of guided questions, small group discussions, case studies, and the knowledge of concepts were the strategies most commonly used in the classroom, skills lab, and clinical. Further, in the skills lab, hands-on demonstration of skills was used to foster critical thinking.