Fact Sheet: Decision Making, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking & Clinical Reasoning

• Decision making involves choosing a course of action from available options

• Problem solving involves finding a solution to a difficult situation

• Decision making is often a part of problem solving, but can also occur without the full analysis required in problem solving

• Decision making may not focus on eliminating the underlying problem, while problem solving attempts to identify the root problem and find a solution

• Critical thinking involves higher order reasoning and evaluation and has both cognitive and affective components, including skills such as insight, intuition, empathy, and the willingness to take action

• Clinical reasoning in nursing involves using knowledge and experience to make decisions at the point of care, and involves content-specific knowledge, engagement of the patient and family, and incorporation of critical contextual factors

Published by tEXtAMS

Nurse by profession. Teacher by heart.