PURPOSE: The present study was designed to understand the conceptual definition and attributes of the clinical critical thinking ability(CCTA) in nursing and to grasp the characteristics of clinical critical thinking abilities. METHODS: The data were analyzed using the Hybrid model of Schwartz-Barcott and Kim(2000). RESULTS: Having the skills and dispositions to think critically, CCTA refers to something that implies the cognizant ability to interpret contextual meanings, analyze the relationships between materials or circumstances, draw out the best conclusions, predict things using relevant information and evaluate the reliability of information and the strength of inference on the one hand and the emphatic disposition to be curious, open-minded, intellectually integral, systematic and creative and to reflect on things in contextual terms on the other. CONCLUSION: CCTA is characterized by clinical circumstances, such as guessing the reasons for facts, predicting things, connecting theory to practice and approaching individual situation in total terms as well as by the Korean circumstances, such as taking another person's perspective. Hence, this study proposes developing the tools to measure the clinical critical thinking ability and the strategies to improve the clinical critical thinking ability and seeking to verify their validity, on the basis of the findings.