An Experiment in Facilitating Creative Thinking in Second Degree Accelerated Nursing Students
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Challenges and rapid changes in the nursing profession and healthcare in general necessitate that nurses graduate with the ability to reason creatively, a key component to critical reasoning, and a skill imperative to safe and excellent nursing practice. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the implementation of specific interventions to facilitate creativity in a group of second degree nursing students led to an increase of either the age related or grade related creative index score on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). Sixty students were randomly assigned to a Solomon IV design to prevent threats to internal validity of pretest/posttest sensitivity using the TTCT Figural Form A as the pretest and the TTCT Figural Form B as the posttest. Fifty- one students completed the study. The intervention group participated in a class on creative thinking, a card to remind them of the techniques they learned in the creative thinking class, and prompts to facilitate creative thinking before every group work exercise over two semesters. The main research question was, “Does providing explicit instruction on creative thinking and providing creative thinking strategies improve the creative thinking scores as measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) in second degree nursing students when these interventions are applied over two semesters of nursing school”. H1 stated there would be an increase of the scores on the TTCT in the intervention group. H0 stated there would be no change in scores. H1 was not supported. All students showed a decrease in scores on the TTCT posttest. Those experiencing the interventions showed a smaller decrease but this difference did not reach statistical significance. Limitations to the study, barriers to educating nurses to become creative thinkers, possible differences between the form of creativity measured by the TTCT and that needed in nursing practice, as well as recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.