Critical thinking and creativity in nursing: Learners' perspectives

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the development of critical thinking and the development of creativity are major areas in nursing programme, little has been explored about learners' perspectives towards these two concepts, especially in Chinese contexts. Objectives: This study aimed to reveal nursing learners' perspectives on creativity and critical thinking. Design: Qualitative data collection methods were adopted, namely group interviews and concept map drawings. Settings: The process of data collection was conducted in private rooms at a University. Participants: 36 nursing students from two problem-based learning classes were recruited in two groups for the study. Methods: After data collection, content analysis with axial coding approach was conducted to explore the narrative themes, to summarise the main ideas, and to make valid inferences from the connections among critical thinking, creativity, and other exogenous variables. Results: Based on the findings, six major themes were identified: "revisiting the meanings of critical thinking"; "critical thinking and knowledge: partners or rivals?"; "is critical thinking criticising?"; "revising the meanings of creativity"; "creativity and experience: partners or rivals?"; and "should creativity be practical?". Conclusions: This study showed that learners had diverse perspectives towards critical thinking and creativity, and their debate on these two domains provided implications on nursing education, since the voices of learners are crucial in teaching. By closing the gap between learners and educators, this study offered some insights on nursing education in the new curriculum, in particular to co-construct nursing knowledge which is student-driven, and to consider students' voices towards understanding and applying creativity and critical thinking in nursing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-563
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Learners' perspective
  • Nursing education
  • Qualitative method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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