Critical Thinking Diagnostic

Topics: Critical Thinking and Decision Making, Operations Skills, Skill Development, Workforce, Nursing

This is a preview of restricted content.

Full access to this content is reserved for Nursing Executive Center members. Log in now or learn more about Nursing Executive Center.

Diagnostic objective

Nursing leaders can analyze results of the Critical Thinking Diagnostic to uncover specific competencies on which frontline nurses excel, as well as those in need of improvement. The Critical Thinking Diagnostic also enables nursing leaders to identify the specific individuals—or key groups—in greatest need of improvement.

Download PDFCritical Thinking Diagnostic Executive Summary

Download PDFThe Center’s 25 Critical Thinking Competencies


Individuals such as educators, preceptors, or managers—who work on a regular basis with the staff you wish to have assessed—serve as assessors. Designated assessors should already be regarded as strong critical thinkers as the assessments are based on their perceptions of staff members’ critical thinking.

Instructions for using the Critical Thinking Diagnostic

Step 1: Download and read the Overview of Critical Thinking Diagnostic Implementation Steps. This resource provides a high-level overview of the steps required to deploy the Critical Thinking Diagnostic.

Step 2:
A: Watch a brief video on how to set up the Critical Thinking Diagnostic for the first time, track progress, and access results. 
B: Download and read the Critical Thinking Diagnostic User Guide. This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up the Diagnostic and analyze the results.
C: After you have read this resource, access the Critical Thinking Diagnostic Assessor Selection Guide.

Step 3: Download and complete the Critical Thinking Implementation Checklist. This resource will help you plan the implementation of the Critical Thinking Diagnostic at your organization.

Step 4:  After you have completed steps 1-3, you will be ready to deploy the Critical Thinking Diagnostic by clicking the link on the right.

Step 5: Review the Critical Thinking Implementation Guide: Resources for Assessors. This booklet is designed expressly for designated Critical Thinking Diagnostic assessors. You can also access a Critical Thinking Development Plan Template.

Step 6: Act on the Critical Thinking Diagnostic results. Access the Center’s turn-key solutions, including the Critical Thinking Toolkit and Elevating Frontline Critical Thinking publications.  

Critical Thinking Diagnostic Supporting Resource Center

Access an archived webconference on how the Critical Thinking Diagnostic was created and how to use it at your institution.

Screenshot of the Critical Thinking Diagnostic

Critical Thinking Diagnostic

  • Manage your events
  • View your saved items
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague