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Critical Thinking Skills for your Nursing Degree

Critical Thinking Skills for your Nursing Degree

Jane Bottomley | Steven Pryjmachuk


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Book Details


Critical Thinking Skills for your Nursing Degree provides you with a sound knowledge and understanding of:

  • the nature of critical thinking, and of its relevance and importance in HE
  • how to adopt a critical approach to all aspects of your nursing study
  • the importance of active, critical reading, and how it allows you an efficient, principled, effective assessment of the literature in your field
  • the need to adopt a critical approach to writing, characterised by analytical and evaluative use of sources and the development of your own ‘voice’

If you are embarking on a university nursing or midwifery degree, the books in this series will help you acquire and develop the knowledge, skills and strategies you need to achieve your goals. They provide support in all areas important for university study, including institutional and disciplinary policy and practice, self-management, and research and communication. Tasks and activities are designed to foster aspects of learning which are valued in higher education, including learner autonomy and critical thinking, and to guide you towards reflective practice in your study and work life.



Jane Bottomley is a Senior Language Tutor at the University of Manchester and a Senior Fellow of the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP).She has been involved in the development of a number of content-based academic study skills courses at the University of Manchester and has previously published on scientific writing.

Steven Pryjmachuk is Professor of Mental Health Nursing Education in the School of Health Science's Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His teaching, clinical and research work has centred largely on supporting and facilitating individuals – be they students, patients or colleagues – to develop, learn or care independently. 

In December 2014, Steven was elected as vice Chair (2015-16) and Chair (2017-18) of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK, an organisation representing 65 Higher Education Institutions providing education and research on mental health nursing.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover 1
Half-title i
Series information ii
Title page iii
Copyright information iv
Table of contents v
Acknowledgements vi
Meet the authors vii
Introduction viii
A note on terminology ix
Chapter 1 The foundations of critical thinking 1
Fake news! 6
Discussion of task 7
Developing and applying your critical thinking skills 9
Critical thinking in nursing practice 10
Discussion of task 10
Applying critical thinking to ethical issues 12
Discussion of case study A 12
Discussion of case study B 13
References 15
Chapter 2 Reflective practice 17
Reflection and reflective practice 17
Reflective frameworks 18
Borton’s model of structured reflection 18
Gibbs’ reflective cycle 19
Johns’ model of structured reflection 20
Critically evaluating reflective frameworks 21
Reflection in action and reflection on action 22
Reflection on learning 23
Clinical supervision 23
Writing reflectively 24
Short written reflections 24
Discussion of task 26
Longer written reflections and essays 27
Discussion of task 29
The language of reflection 30
Discussion of reflective language analysis 30
References 35
Chapter 3 Critical reading 37
Selecting sources for an assignment 37
Selecting credible sources 38
Selecting relevant sources 39
Discussion of tasks 43
Engaging critically with sources 44
Scrutinising 44
Synthesising 45
Telling your research story 45
Discussion of task 47
References 48
Chapter 4 Critical writing 49
What does it mean to write critically? 49
References 58
Appendix 1: Academic levels at university 59
Appendix 2: Verb forms in English 60
Further reading 61
Answer key 62
Index 70