Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Sielke

Third Advisor

Dr. Sally Johnson


The purpose of this study was to examine the critical thinking skills of undergraduate nursing faculty to determine how these skills compared with the established critical thinking skill norms for undergraduate nursing students and if the critical thinking skills of nursing faculty were related to the type of program they teach in, their years of experience in nursing education, their level of formal education, their preferred methods of instruction, and their level of formal training in critical thinking. Nursing faculty from 17 Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs and 11 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs in the State of Michigan volunteered to participate as subjects in the study.

The California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) (P. A. Facione, 1994) was administered to the 120 undergraduate nursing faculty participating in the study. The CCTST composite scores as well as the analysis, evaluation, and inference subscores were compared to national norms for student nurses (N. C. Facione, 1995). The findings of the study demonstrated that nursing faculty scored consistently higher than nursing students in all areas. In addition, when ADN faculty (n = 70) scores were compared to BSN faculty (// = 50) scores, BSN faculty demonstrated higher critical thinking skills than ADN faculty in the cognitive areas of analysis and evaluation.

The remaining findings of the study did not support the relationship between critical thinking skills as measured by the CCTST and the variables of years of experience in nursing education, educational level, preferred teaching method, or level of formal training in critical thinking among faculty who participated in the study.

The study was intended to examine critical thinking within the role of the instructor, who serves as an intervening variable in the development of critical thinking in nursing students.The study demonstrated that nursing faculty have critical thinking ability that exceeds that of their students, thus lending encouragement to the modeling of these skills in the didactic and clinical areas. The study also raises ongoing questions in regard to how the acquisition of critical thinking skills actually occurs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access