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Competence in nursing informatics among nursing students and staff at a nursing institute in Sweden

Competence in nursing informatics among nursing students and staff at a nursing institute in Sweden

Health Information and Libraries Journal 23(2): 126-132

Information technology (IT) has slowly been implemented in many health-care organizations (i.e. hospitals). The use of computers has advanced to home care and long-term facilities. Consequently, it is important that nurses are able to demonstrate competence and feel confident in the use of IT. Yet, research has reported that nursing students have varying degrees of competence and experience with IT. The purpose of this study was to ascertain nursing students' and nursing educators' self-reported attitudes, skills and experiences using IT. Data were collected through a written survey distributed and completed by 247 nursing students (45 of whom were registered nurses who participated in extension courses) and 52 staff members from the nursing faculty at a university in Sweden. Two-thirds of the students and 92% of the nursing educators had access to the Internet from their homes. Of the students, 71% identified their IT skills as being sufficient for their current or future work as a registered nurse. Nurse educators were less confident in the students' ability, reporting that only 29% of nursing students had sufficient IT skills. Comparatively, 48% of the nursing educators believed that they themselves had sufficient IT skills for their role as a nurse educator. It is important that nursing students have basic IT skills and are familiar with e-mail, word-processing and various databases on the World Wide Web. Findings indicate that participants had a deficit in these skills, suggesting the need to integrate IT into the nursing curriculum.

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Accession: 048609248

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PMID: 16706868

DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2006.00643.x

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