1Nursing Care Research Center, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Allied Health, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran
2Deputy of Research and Technology, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran
Background Promoting critical thinking skills is an essential outcome of undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education. Objectives The current study aims at comparing critical thinking skills of bachelor students of nursing (BSc) and master’s students of critical care nursing (MSc) in the academic year 2014 - 2015. Methods The current cross-sectional study was conducted on 79 BSc students of nursing and 44 MSc students of critical care nursing in 3 universities of medical sciences including Semnan, Tehran, and Kashan. The California critical thinking test, form B, was used for data collection. Analysis of variance Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for statistical analyses. Results The mean scores of BS and MSc nursing students were 11.14 ± 3.01 and 10.05 ± 3.33, respectively, which were not significantly different. The mean scores of students in Semnan, Tehran, and Kashan universities of medical sciences were 9.84 ± 3.13, 9.66 ± 3.32, and 11.79 ± 2.92, respectively, and the total mean score was 10.46 ± 3.24. The scores of critical thinking domains showed that students in Kashan University gained higher scores in interference, and deductive and inductive reasoning domains compared with the students in other universities. Conclusions The level of critical thinking in BSc students was higher. The overall level of critical thinking skills was low in nursing students. It is suggested that appropriate and effective methods should be employed to create and improve critical thinking in nursing education.