Information Literacy Competencies of Registered Nurses at Magnet Hospitals
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More patients are turning to the Internet as as source of health information. Nurses occupy the frontline of healthcare and must have information literacy (IL) competencies to guide themselves and their patients to the correct and appropriate health information on the Internet. Within magnet hospitals, which are exemplars for excellent nursing practice, there is an increased emphasis on evidence based practice and research, which requires IL. Exploring IL at magnet hospitals was reasonable considering such competence is promoted. Previous research indicates that nurses lack IL competencies which are necessary to inform their patients and impact healthcare but many studies rely on self-report measures. The purpose of this research study was to objectively measure the information literacy competencies of registered nurses at magnet hospitals, specifically their competencies in accessing and evaluating electronic health information, self-perception of information literacy, reliance on browsing the Internet for health information (versus libraries), and the relationship among these competencies.
A convenient sample of 120 registered nurses, at four magnet hospitals, all components of a single healthcare organization, completed the Research Readiness Self-Assessment—Nurse (RRSA-Nurse), an interactive online instrument and a demographic data form. Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlation, and regression statistical methods. Nurses employed at magnet hospitals had a high ability to access and evaluate health information and high overall IL. Their self-perception in their abilities to access and evaluate health information was high and a majority did not rely on browsing the Internet for health information. Seven variables were significantly correlated to overall information literacy including role, graduate prepared nursing education, ability to access health information, ability to evaluate health information, library and research experience, contact with library staff, and library use. Nurses who were not reliant on browsing the Internet for health information and those with a graduate prepared nursing education had higher information literacy.
Further research is necessary to explore qualities within magnet hospitals that contribute to the promotion of information literacy competencies in nurses. Understanding these qualities may assist with the development of interventions to increase information literacy among practicing nurses.
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