Critical thinking in community nursing: Is this the 7th C?

Ritchie, Georgina Louise and Smith, Charlotte orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2964-995X (2015) Critical thinking in community nursing: Is this the 7th C? British Journal of Community Nursing, 20 (12). ISSN 1462-4753

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Compassion in practice and the drive to deliver the 6Cs—care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment—has been embraced within community nursing practice since its launch in 2012 (Commissioning Board Chief Nursing Officer and Department of Health (DH) Chief Nursing Adviser, 2012). Following the shortcomings in care discovered at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the findings of inquiries (e.g. Francis, 2013; Keogh, 2013), nursing as a profession has been under pressure to demonstrate to the public that nurses do care. This need comes under increasing scrutiny when working in the homes of patients, who rightly require demonstration of accountability of care. Effective therapeutic relationships with patients in the community are built on trust, and patients should feel confident that clinical care is appropriate and evidence based (Griffith, 2015). A strong focus upon the core themes of the 6Cs is both integral to and apparent in daily practice within the community setting.

The terminology of the 6Cs is a frequent feature of discussions, supervision, teaching, and record keeping. However, is it possible that in this drive to improve the public image of nursing through the focus of care and compassion, the concept of critical thinking is considered secondary? Should critical thinking in community nursing practice be awarded a ‘C’ in its own right?

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