The relationship of critical thinking disposition and self-efficacy to work excitement among registered nurses in the practice setting

Date of Completion

January 2002


Health Sciences, Nursing|Psychology, Industrial|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




Diminished economic resources and increased patient care responsibilities have dramatically altered the current environment of health care delivery. Some individuals have responded to the recent health care changes by becoming dissatisfied, demoralized, and ultimately leaving the practice setting. Others have continued to thrive professionally remaining excited and committed to their work. Nurses who have managed to maintain work excitement in these changing times may demonstrate attributes of critical thinking disposition and self-efficacy. ^ This investigation examined the independent variables of critical thinking disposition and self-efficacy to determine to what extent and in what manner these two constructs influence variation in work excitement. Data for this investigation was collected from registered nurses practicing in an urban healthcare facility in Connecticut. A demographic survey and three research instruments, the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, the General Perceived Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Work Excitement Survey were administered. A Pearson correlation-coefficient determined that a statistically significant relationship between the independent variables and work excitement existed. Multiple regression procedures determined that a combination of critical thinking skills and self-efficacy are more predictive of variance in work excitement than either critical thinking or self-efficacy examined individually. ^ The results of this investigation suggest that critical thinking disposition and self-efficacy may play an important role in the experience of work excitement for nurses. Specifically, the results of the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory indicated that three sub-scale dispositions, Open-mindedness, Inquisitiveness and Confidence were significantly correlated with Work Excitement. When self-efficacy was entered into the model its influence outweighed that of critical thinking disposition. ^ Work excitement may be an important measure of the quality of life in an organization that provides patient care. Fostering a positive learning environment and encouraging the pursuit of advanced education in nursing may enhance work excitement, and increase self-efficacy and creativity in practice. Supportive experiences for nurses throughout their education and careers can reinforce a sense of mastery and positively influence the practice experience thus supporting better patient outcomes. ^