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Keywords

Computer literacy evaluation, Information technology, Nurse education

 

Authors

  1. McDOWELL, DOROTHEA E. PhD, RN
  2. MA, XIPING MS, RN

Abstract

With the rapid integration of information technology in the healthcare field, equipping nurses with skills to effectively use the technology is vital. Evaluations of nursing students' nursing informatics competencies are scarce in nursing programs as reported in the literature. The current study was implemented to evaluate the self-reported nursing informatics competence of undergraduate baccalaureate students upon admission and graduation in the years from 1997 to 2005 and to compare the differences between admission and graduation. The Gassert/McDowell Computer Literacy Survey was used to survey 411 students on admission and 429 students on graduation from a baccalaureate nursing program. Results showed a significant increase during the 8-year period, both on admission and graduation, for reported level of experience with word processing, electronic mail, and World Wide Web. Areas of less experience that did not increase significantly were spreadsheet experience, database experience, and use of statistical programs. The nursing informatics competencies established for beginning nurses include databases, spreadsheets, word processing, presentation graphics, and keyboard skills. The results of this study indicate nursing education programs currently may not be providing beginning nurses with the tools needed to effectively and efficiently work in the technology-rich healthcare arena.