Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Student nurses’ perceptions of information literacy and its impact in the “real world” of the Nurse #i3rgu

I'm at the 2nd day at the i3 #i3rgu conference in Aberdeen, Scotland. Dr. Antony Osborne talked about Squaring the circle: Student nurses’ perceptions of information literacy and its impact in the “real world” of the Nurse, which was based on his doctoral work. I have blogged about his work here and here, but this presentation was highlighting in particular the connection with the nurses' world of work. This related to the one of three research objectives, namely: "To examine the value and relevance of information literacy in searchoing for evidence-based materials within [the nurses'] placements as an indicator of its place in the "real world" of the nurse". He used the phenomenographic approach in his research, using focus groups and interviews for data collection. Through his analysis, he identified nine qualititatively different ways of conceiving of information literacy, and picked out three of these as being particularly relevant to the work-related research objective (nb. these are just brief partial notes, see his thesis for the full thing!).
- Category 5: Information literacy and the role of the nurse. There was value placed on nursing experience, and knowledge gained from that, and questioning of the prominent place of evidence based/research in nursing education
- Category 6: Conception of evidence-based practice in the “real world” of the nurse. They perceived a culture clash between academic and clinical worlds, and an ambivalent attitude to "information skills" from qualified staff. It was perceived that the amount of use varied depending on the area of work (e.g. community nursing).
- Category 7: Information literacy: Professional development conception. Here information literacy was perceived as useful for the "academic side" of things. It was seen as being more useful if you wanted to be a manager, and not necessarily integral to being a nurse.
Some points from Osborne's summary are: the amount of informal learning, the influence of the attitude of peers and work superiors, the need for integration into work practices, and the importance for librarians not to make assumptions about how to teach nurses. He felt that this led to fundamental questions about nursing: e.g. should there be training or education? is there adequate attention to the caring side of nursing education? is the extent of informal learning acknowledged?
Discussion questions afterwards included comparisons with other professions which had moved from being non-graduate to graduate professions; whether nurses explicitly discuss how they learn; how IL might be integrated into the clinical side (as opposed to the academic)  of nurse education.

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