The relationship between critical thinking skills and self-efficacy beliefs in mental health nurses

H. Gloudemans, R. Schalk, W.M. Reynaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


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.
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.
Questionnaire data were used of a sample of 95 registered mental health staff nurses (62 diploma nurses and 33 Bachelor degree nurses).
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.
The hypothesis that Bachelor degree nurses are better critical thinkers than diploma nurses was supported (p < 0.01). Years in function turned out to be positively related to self-efficacy beliefs (p < 0.01). No significant relation was found between the level of education and self-efficacy beliefs.
The results of this study support career development and facilitate more efficient positioning of nursing levels.
Keywords: Critical thinking, Self-efficacy, Nursing, Organisation, Educational level
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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