The relationship between critical thinking skills and self efficacy beliefs in mental health nurses
Summary Background In the Netherlands, the distinction between Bachelor degree and diploma nursing educational levels remains unclear. The added value of Bachelor degree nurses and how they develop professionally after graduation are subject to debate. Objectives The aim of this study is to investigate whether Bachelor degree nurses have higher critical thinking skills than diploma nurses do and whether there is a positive relationship between higher critical thinking skills and self-efficacy beliefs. Outcomes might provide instruments that are helpful in positioning of nursing levels in education and practice. Participants Questionnaire data were used of a sample of 95 registered mental health staff nurses (62 diploma nurses and 33 Bachelor degree nurses). Methods First, ANOVA was performed to test whether the two groups were comparable with respect to elements of work experience. Second, t-tests were conducted to compare the two groups of nurses on self-efficacy, perceived performance and critical thinking outcomes. Third, relationships between the study variables were investigated. Finally, structural equation modelling using AMOS was applied to test the relationships. Results The hypothesis that Bachelor degree nurses are better critical thinkers than diploma nurses was supported ( p p Conclusions The results of this study support career development and facilitate more efficient positioning of nursing levels.
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