1. Carroll, V. Susan Editor

Article Content

For hundreds of years, application meant the act of putting something to use, of requesting something (a job, maybe?), or of continued mental or physical effort, or it referred to a form to be completed. We applied ourselves and things every day in myriad ways. Now, application has taken on a new meaning for many of us. Computer applications-"apps"-are software programs designed to run on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Apps often provide services or uses that are nearly identical to those accessed on personal computers. Apps move away from integrated software systems and instead provide slightly more limited, isolated functions.

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As much as apps have changed our individual personal lives, they have the potential to significantly transform our professional nursing lives as a key component of the larger world of healthcare information and computer technology (ICT). ICT will ultimately modify the ways in which both patients and care providers use healthcare services by increasing access to information and providing other forms of support remotely (Chen et al., 2012). Historically, patients and their care providers have interacted in a relationship that was mediated through agencies like hospitals and clinics and relied on face-to-face contact. For many practicing nurses, this relationship continues to be integral to practice. However, ICT will allow the relationship to move away from the strictly "traditional" one to a more virtual experience that exists in and out of institutional settings. Nurses working at the bedside and in the community will have access to evidence-based interventions that best fit an individual patient, to patient-specific data that can be used to manage chronic health problems, and to educational materials that benefit both nurse and patient.


The Institute of Medicine's (2010)Future of Nursing report underscores the important role of ICT as a means of transforming practice, telling us that "There is perhaps no greater opportunity to transform practice than through technology" (p. 136). This expert panel concluded that ICT will fundamentally change the ways in which all nurses plan, deliver, document, and review the care they provide, will support better clinical decision-making and communication, and will underpin both efficiency and safety.


During the summer of 2012, JNN surveyed our readers and asked questions related to ICT use among you. Forty-three percent of the survey respondents told us they would visit JNN Online more frequently if additional features like a mobile application were available. Fifty percent of respondents currently owned or planned to own one soon. Thirty-four percent owned an iPad, and 13% planned to purchase one soon. When asked specifically about their interest in a JNN mobile application, 58% of all respondents (N = 602) were at least somewhat interested; 86% of current iPad owners (n = 182) were very interested.

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We heard you! With our publishing partner, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, JNN will have launched a mobile app shortly before you read this editorial. AANN members and JNN subscribers will have access to the journal using a smart phone or tablet view on their device. Readers are able to access current and archived content and use other features of our online site using their tablets and devices. Now, with the April issue, JNN will launch an iPad app, downloadable bimonthly with the Journal. JNN will be constantly present, providing location-rich, real-time, high-frequency data. The app will support evidence-based decision making directly related to neuroscience nursing care, validate our clinical "intuition," and provide support for safer care. The JNN app will allow us to integrate neuroscience nursing knowledge seamlessly into our practice as we help patients and their families manage both acute and chronic neurologic disorders.




Chen C., Haddad D., Selsky J., Hoffman J. E., Kravit R. L. (2012). Making sense of mobile health data. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14 (4): e112. doi:10.2196/jmir.2152 [Context Link]


Institute of Medicine. The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; (2010). [Context Link]