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The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of using concept maps as a teaching and learning strategy on students' critical thinking abilities and examine students' perceptions toward concept maps utilizing the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines.Researchers have found that almost two thirds of nurse graduates do not have adequate critical thinking skills for a beginner nurse. Critical thinking skills are required for safe practice and mandated by accrediting organizations. Nursing educators should consider teaching and learning strategies that promote the development of critical thinking skills.A literature review was conducted using “concept maps, nursing education, and critical thinking” as the combined search terms. Inclusion criteria were studies that measured the effects of concept mapping on critical thinking in nursing students.Seventeen articles were identified.Concept maps may be useful tools to promote critical thinking in nursing education and for applying theory to practice.