Information literacy during entry to practice: Information-seeking behaviors in student nurses and recent nurse graduates
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BACKGROUND: The ability to locate information pertinent to guide clinical practice is important for quality nursing care and patient safety. To date, little is known about the transfer of information literacy skills as student nurses transition to clinical practice as new graduates. This study begins to address this gap from the perspective of student nurses, recent nurse graduates (RNs), nurse leaders and library staff. OBJECTIVES: To describe the information-seeking behaviors of student nurses and RNs within their clinical settings. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: This is a descriptive study that included both cross-sectional surveys and key informant interviews. Participants were senior-level undergraduate students and recently graduated RNs (graduated since 2008), and nurse leaders and library staff employed in one of the clinical sites accepting undergraduate students from the McMaster Mohawk and Conestoga BScN program. The study was completed in two large hospital corporations in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. METHODS: Student nurses and RNs were invited to complete online surveys to assess their access to and use of information sources and resources within clinical practice. Students completed a survey comprised of five open-ended questions, while RNs completed a survey comprised of 13 fixed choice and open-ended questions. Nurse leaders and library staff participated in qualitative interviews to verify the extent and availability of information resources. RESULTS: Eighteen RNs and 62 students completed their respective surveys. Three categories of information sources and resources were identified: electronic, print and interpersonal. Electronic sources of information were the most used resource by both students and RNs. More RNs reported using interpersonal sources, while students reported using more print sources of information. CONCLUSIONS: Recent RN graduates meet the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing performance indicators related to information access for the entry to practice Nursing Informatics competencies.
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