Atay S, Karabacak U. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 233239 Care plans using concept maps and their effects on the critical thinking dispositions of nursing students It is expected that nursing education improves abilities of students in solving problems, decision making and critical thinking in different circumstances. This study was performed to analyse the effects of care plans prepared using concept maps on the critical thinking dispositions of students. An experimental group and a control group were made up of a total of 80 freshman and sophomore students from the nursing department of a health school. The study used a pre-test post-test control group design. The critical thinking dispositions of the groups were measured using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory. In addition, the care plans prepared by the experimental group students were evaluated using the criteria for evaluating care plans with concept maps. T-test was used in analysing the data. The results showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the total and sub-scale pre-test scores between the experimental group and control group students. There were also significant differences in the total and sub-scale post-test scores between the experimental group and control group students. There were significant differences between concept map care plan evaluation criteria mean scores of the experimental students. In the light of these findings, it could be argued that the concept mapping strategy improves critical thinking skills of students.