Determining educational needs of professional nurses pertaining to computerization in nursing practice

Date

1981

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Abstract

In order to meet the increasing demands of information processing within the modern health care system, computerization has become more and more commonplace. Nursing practice has been profoundly affected by this automation. Investigation of educational needs related to computerization affecting nursing practice was deemed necessary in order to prepare professional nurses to meet requirements of practice in an automated environment. This descriptive study was therefore designed to determine educational needs of professional nurses concerning computerization affecting nursing practice. It was felt that results of this study would be useful in the development of educational objectives for programs in: 1) undergraduate and graduate nursing curricula as well as 2) inservice and continuing education programs. Data for this study was obtained from 193 registered nurses recognized as possessing specialized knowledge in the area of computerization affecting nursing practice from 29 states and one Canadian province. Data collection occurred in the summer of 1981. The study was conducted in two phases. The purpose of phase one was to solicit information concerning educational needs of professional nurses in the area of computerization affecting nursing practice. The purpose of phase two was the production of a ranked set of educational need priorities concerning computerization affecting nursing practice. In phase one an open-ended questionnaire was mailed to the nurse experts requesting that they submit a list of five educational needs concerning computerization affecting nursing practice. Phase one data analysis involved examination of the content of each of the 957 educational need items submitted by the respondents. This analysis yielded a partitioning of the data into eleven major educational need categories. In phase two a ranking instrument was developed using the eleven major educational need categories established by phase one of the study. The ranking instrument was mailed to the nurse experts with the request that they rank the educational needs in order of their importance in contributing to an understanding of computerization affecting nursing practice. Phase two data analysis involved the determination of the median rank value for each educational need category. A composite rank ordering of the educational need categories was established by reranking on the basis of the median values. The specific findings of the study were the eleven ranked categories of educational needs of professional nurses concerning computerization affecting nursing practice: 1) Fundamentals of Data Processing, 2) Importance of Nursing Involvement, 3) Overview of Health Care Applications, 4) Developing a Systematized Nursing Data Base, 5) Systems Analysis, 6) Affective Impact of Computerization, 7) Confidentiality/Legal Issues, 8) Potential Problems in Computerized Health Care Systems, 9) Basic Understanding of Statistics and Research Methods, 10) Change Theory and 11) Computer Programming/Programming Languages. Conclusions based upon these findings were: 1. Educational needs concerning computerization affecting nursing practice exist for all levels of formal nursing education, undergraduate through doctoral, and for all levels of nursing practitioners from staff nurse through administrator. 2. Educational needs concerning computerization which are specific to nursing practice should receive a high priority in curriculum planning for educational programs concerning computerization affecting nursing practice (i.e. importance of nursing involvement, nursing- oriented health care applications and development of a systematized nursing data base). 3. The degree of involvement with health care computerization strategy presented by Working Group Four of the International Federation of Information Processing (Anderson, Gremy & Pages, 1974) was supported by this study. It appears to be a feasible model for organizing educational programs concerning computerization affecting nursing practice. However, adaptation of the model appears necessary with particular emphasis on the leveling of material.

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Keywords

Nursing--Study and teaching, Medicine--Data processing

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