Nursing students' use of technology enhanced learning: A longitudinal study

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Background: Nurses are expected to be information and communication technology (ICT) literate at registration but, despite the growth of social uses of technology, little is known of the views of students on the use of technology enhanced learning. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience and confidence of first year pre-registration nursing students with information and communication technologies and technology enhanced learning.

Methods: A prospective longitudinal survey design with multiple data collection strategies was employed. Cross-
sectional surveys using a new ICT and Education Scale at three time-points were used to collect data. The target population were first year UK nursing students (n=458); of those 287 (41.7%) participated in the initial baseline survey.

Results: There were three main findings. First, more than half of the respondents (67%) reported that they were not confident with aspects of information literacy and were not prepared for technology enhanced learning (60%) as they entered university and these aspects showed least change through time. Second, from varied starting points at baseline, respondents’ experience and confidence with ICT skills showed different trajectories over time. Third, there was some evidence that demographic profile was related to use and acceptance of ICT in the educational context.

Conclusions: There is some evidence that nursing students find it difficult to negotiate the boundaries between their pre-university experience with technologies and that of education and practice. In a rapidly changing technology environment this has implications for curriculum planning in the first six months of a programme of study as well as student/staff preparation for technology enhanced learning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nursing Education and Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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