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Learning Strategies and Metacognition in Nursing


Metacognition is a skill for critical thinking and lifelong learning. In nursing education, metacognition skills monitor and regulate critical thinking and problem-solving. By carefully designing classroom and experiential activities, instructors can assist students in developing metacognitive skills. These abilities can be enhanced through questioning, modelling, and reflection. This article examines the most recent metacognitive research and offers practical strategies for developing metacognitive abilities.


Elaboration in education refers to adding meaning-enhancing tools, constructions, or generations to help students remember what they have learned. Cognitive psychologists have explained many elaboration phenomena over the last quarter-century. This methodical theory-building process has resulted in many educational applications that can be empirically validated. By combining cognitive and metacognitive elaboration components, nursing students can develop sound pedagogic strategies and train themselves on appropriate approaches to incorporate common language into the nursing context (Banning, 2008). They have improved students’ performance in various academic tasks, from memorizing simple facts to internalizing relatively complex passages. An effective nurse must learn how to summarize or paraphrase concepts correctly. In this regard, meta-knowledge in elaboration skills can help them identify an aspect of elaboration that they are less proficient in and work towards gaining proficiency.


Making sense of new or unclear situations is known as sensemaking. When events or tasks challenge preexisting mental frameworks, cognitive dissonance occurs. People discuss their initial impressions and agree on a consensus interpretation and action plan. Scholars believe that individual interpretations feed collective interpretations. No comprehensive account of the discursive norms and cognitive work underlying a shift between one level of thought and the next is available empirically or theoretically. Conversational practices such as account sharing, narrative exchange, and argumentation are critical in helping people understand ambiguous or unexpected events, such as those that occur during times of crisis or change. The use of visual aids like illustrations and models, PowerPoint presentations, maps, and Lego bricks in planning meetings has been the subject of numerous research studies. According to the findings of this study, defining collective sensemaking in words or symbols may only provide a limited account of the process.

In addition to these, an effective nurse must first understand the concept before logically representing interconnections between sub-concepts. Effective organizational skills constitute an ability to form these connections and apply them appropriately to real-life situations (Kosior, Wall and Ferrero, 2019). Therefore, a nurse must apply metacognition to their organizational skills.

Critical Thinking and Self-reflection

The cognitive component is comprehending a problem and applying one’s cognitive abilities to make sound decisions. Thinkers who enjoy thinking and are open to new ideas have a disposition component. Students can control their thinking by employing metacognitive strategies; critical thinkers can gain control of their thoughts with the help of metacognitive strategies. Motivation, socioeconomic status, and education all impact metacognitive aspects.

Metacognition is the ability to keep track of one’s thoughts to employ appropriate skills and strategies to achieve the desired result. According to Hwang, Park and Chu (2007), A critical thinker is someone who uses appropriate skills and strategies to achieve their goals. Critical thinkers strategically apply their cognitive abilities to a given situation. Because they are aware of their thoughts, they can control them. It is critical to think in terms of metacognition. This thinking allows the nurse to identify areas of ignorance and motivate themselves to learn.


Banning, M. (2008). Clinical reasoning and its application to nursing: Concepts and research studies. Nurse education in practice8(3), 177-183.

Hwang, Y. Y., Park, C. S., & Chu, M. S. (2007). Correlations among meta cognition, critical thinking and self-efficacy of nursing students studying through problem based learning (PBL). Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing18(1), 146-155.

Kosior, K., Wall, T., & Ferrero, S. (2019). The role of metacognition in teaching clinical reasoning: Theory to practice. Education in the Health Professions2(2), 108.


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