Date of Graduation


Document Type



This descriptive correlational study was conducted to explore the relationships among the constructs of Critical Thinking (as measured by the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal), Learning Style (as measured by the Kolb Learning Style Inventory), and Locus of Control (as measured by the Adult Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Scale) in baccalaureate nursing students. A convenience sample (n = 68) of senior students from two classes was recruited to represent the last group graduating before (n = 47) and the first group graduating after (n = 21) curricular revision generated to better facilitate Critical Thinking. A subsample (n = 20) described their perceptions of the educational environment during individual structured interviews. All four Learning Styles were represented, with Accommodaters (learning by feeling and doing) and Convergers (learning by thinking and doing) being the most frequent. A majority of participants (n = 46) measured strongly internal Locus of Control. Convergers demonstrated highest mean ACT and GPA and those with highest WGCTA and most internal ANSIE measures demonstrated highest ACT means. Qualitative data revealed the general perception of a traditional content-driven and faculty-structured curriculum. Ongoing research assessment of academic nursing programs was recommended to provide legitimate descriptions and to suggest realistic interventions which facilitate Critical Thinking, recognize a variety of Learning Styles, and demonstrate cooperative partnerships in our educational environments.