Journal of Nursing Education

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Research Briefs 

Computer Competencies in a BSN Program

Lynne L. Ornes, PhD, RN; Carole Gassert, PhD, RN, FACMI, FAAN

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2007;46(2)
  • Posted February 1, 2007

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Beginning nurses need informatics skills to work efficiently in an environment that increasingly relies on information technology to promote patient safety. In addition, a federal order mandates that all Americans have an electronic medical record by 2014. Nursing programs must integrate informatics content into their curricula to prepare nurses to use information technology. This article describes a baccalaureate (BSN) curriculum evaluation of nursing informatics content. Results can inform faculty about strategies that can strengthen informatics competencies.

A research-based tool, based on the informatics competence work of Staggers, Gassert, and Curran, was developed to evaluate course syllabi. Although evidence of learning experiences related to computer skills was present, students were not routinely exposed to computerized systems. No syllabi included evidence that addressed informatics knowledge competencies. We conclude that students received limited informatics exposure and may not be adequately prepared to use information technology. Recommendations for increasing nursing informatics experiences within a BSN curriculum are offered.

AUTHORS

Received: December 29, 2004

Accepted: April 4, 2005

Dr. Ornes is Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, Cedar City, and Dr. Gassert is Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Information and Technology, University of Utah, College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Address correspondence to Lynne L. Ornes, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, 351 West University Boulevard, GC005, Cedar City, UT, 84720; e-mail: ornesl@suu.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Beginning nurses need informatics skills to work efficiently in an environment that increasingly relies on information technology to promote patient safety. In addition, a federal order mandates that all Americans have an electronic medical record by 2014. Nursing programs must integrate informatics content into their curricula to prepare nurses to use information technology. This article describes a baccalaureate (BSN) curriculum evaluation of nursing informatics content. Results can inform faculty about strategies that can strengthen informatics competencies.

A research-based tool, based on the informatics competence work of Staggers, Gassert, and Curran, was developed to evaluate course syllabi. Although evidence of learning experiences related to computer skills was present, students were not routinely exposed to computerized systems. No syllabi included evidence that addressed informatics knowledge competencies. We conclude that students received limited informatics exposure and may not be adequately prepared to use information technology. Recommendations for increasing nursing informatics experiences within a BSN curriculum are offered.

AUTHORS

Received: December 29, 2004

Accepted: April 4, 2005

Dr. Ornes is Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, Cedar City, and Dr. Gassert is Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Information and Technology, University of Utah, College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Address correspondence to Lynne L. Ornes, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, 351 West University Boulevard, GC005, Cedar City, UT, 84720; e-mail: ornesl@suu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Beginning nurses need informatics skills to work efficiently in an environment that increasingly relies on information technology to promote patient safety. In addition, a federal order mandates that all Americans have an electronic medical record by 2014. Nursing programs must integrate informatics content into their curricula to prepare nurses to use information technology. This article describes a baccalaureate (BSN) curriculum evaluation of nursing informatics content. Results can inform faculty about strategies that can strengthen informatics competencies.

A research-based tool, based on the informatics competence work of Staggers, Gassert, and Curran, was developed to evaluate course syllabi. Although evidence of learning experiences related to computer skills was present, students were not routinely exposed to computerized systems. No syllabi included evidence that addressed informatics knowledge competencies. We conclude that students received limited informatics exposure and may not be adequately prepared to use information technology. Recommendations for increasing nursing informatics experiences within a BSN curriculum are offered.

AUTHORS

Received: December 29, 2004

Accepted: April 4, 2005

Dr. Ornes is Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, Cedar City, and Dr. Gassert is Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Information and Technology, University of Utah, College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Address correspondence to Lynne L. Ornes, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, Department of Nursing, 351 West University Boulevard, GC005, Cedar City, UT, 84720; e-mail: ornesl@suu.edu.

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