Nurse educators' experiences of information technology

Jackman House, Colleen (1998) Nurse educators' experiences of information technology. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore nurse educators' experiences with information technology in an undergraduate nursing program. Findings from this study should prove to be informative to other nurse educators in terms of potential uses of information technology, the perceived advantages and disadvantages, and the concerns and perceptions of nurse educators as experienced in their work environments in using information technology. -- A phenomenological method was used for this study. Seven nurse educators participated in the study, four in administrative positions and three in teaching positions. Of the four administrative participants, three also had teaching responsibilities. The method of data collection included taped, unstructured interviews of approximately 30-60 minutes in duration. Using a guiding questionnaire, participants were encouraged to freely describe their experiences. Following the first round of interviews, five of the seven participants participated in a second round of interviews for further clarification and feedback. -- Van Manen's selective highlighting approach and the Ethnograph software program were used to analyze the data. From this analysis of the data, five common essential themes emerged from the participants' descriptions and interpretations of day to day encounters with information technology. These themes were further subclassified to fully capture a complete understanding of the themes. These themes included: -- (1) Communication: The open door to the world, (a) Accessibility, (b) Acceleration of information, (c) Professional Contact to Colleagues, (d) Professional Growth, (e) Building a Student Community through Technology; -- (2) Time: Ally and Rival: (a) Efficiency of Time, (b) Personal Control of Time, (c) Searching for Time, (d) Professional Time, (e) The Course of Time, -- (3) Need to Learn: Responsibility and Desire: (a) Individual Challenge, (b) Self Satisfaction, (c) Continuous Learning, (d) Daily Learning, (e) Recognition of the Need to Learn; -- (4) Technology: An Everyday Existence; -- (5) Cost: Is it Necessary? (a) Controlling Factor. -- The essence of the experience was nurse educators reacting to, and then adjusting to, the entry of information technology into their lives and followed by embracing it for its promises. -- The findings indicated that nurse educators had a variety of experiences with information technology. For most, this was a basic, functional, daily working experience. Although others went beyond this, none had fully embraced the technology in their lives. The participants' experience with information technology was mostly positive. The reported benefits from their experiences with information technology included speed, efficiency, access to information and colleagues and personal control in their working environment. The findings indicated some frustration and concern among the participants because of their perceived lack of information technology knowledge and skill. However, this recognition of lack of knowledge was often the motivation to learn. The participants adjusted to the presence of information technology in their lives through self directed and continual learning. -- These findings suggest a need for increased information technology education for nurse educators. Increased access to education would facilitate the educator's comfort with the use of information technology and assist them in keeping current with the fast paced changes in their working environment. More knowledge about information technology on the part of nurse educators would provide nurse educators with opportunities for greater input into the design, development and implementation of information technology in nursing education. As well, educators' increased use of information technology would promote collaboration and unity among nursing communities which will support the future of nursing education. The findings indicated a need for further research of this type to assist with the educators' adjustment and integration of information technology into the nursing education environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9239
Item ID: 9239
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 167-179.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Information technology; Communication in nursing; Nursing--Study and teaching; Teachers--Attitudes

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