Nursing education includes a constant challenge regarding the competencies that nurses must possess to provide high-quality nursing care. One of these competencies is critical thinking (CT), and motivation for critical thinking (MCT) has been identified as an element necessary to develop CT. Expectancy and value are important components of the MCT. This study aimed to analyze sociodemographic and academic factors related to MCT in Chilean nursing students. This study is an analytical–correlational, cross-sectional study conducted with 478 nursing students in Chile. The data were collected using an online questionnaire. The Critical Thinking Motivation Scale was used to measure MCT. Pearson’s square, Chi-square, means comparison test, and binomial logistic regression were used to analyze the data. The expectancy component of the MCT had the lowest scores on the scale. Age was associated with the cost subcomponent (p <.03), and high school was associated with the interest subcomponent (p <.01). Academic factors contributing to MCT were problem-based learning, professor motivation, and the inclusion of MCT in nursing disciplinary subjects. Strategies that improve CT and MCT should be implemented and evaluated periodically from the beginning of a nursing career. Faculty should be trained to motivate students to think critically.
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