A curricular approach to improve the information literacy and academic writing skills of part-time post-registration nursing students in Hong Kong

Marie Tarrant, Joan E. Dodgson, Beatrice V.K.K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

In today's environment of rapidly changing health care and information technology, nurses require a broad range of skills. One of the key skills required of all health professionals in this environment is information literacy. For registered nurses returning to a university setting to study for their baccalaureate degree, becoming information literate is one of many challenges they face. Also key to students' ability to use and communicate information in an appropriate and effective manner is their writing skills. This article describes a curricular intervention designed to develop and strengthen post-registration nurses' information literacy and academic writing competencies. An introductory information management module was developed and provided to three successive cohorts of students (n = 159). Students were predominantly female (85.4%) with a mean age of 34.2 years (SD = 6.8). Prior to commencing the program, students reported low information literacy and writing skills, especially in accessing and searching electronic databases and using referencing formats. The post-test evaluation of skills showed substantial and statistically significant increases in all assessed competencies. This intervention demonstrated that with structured but flexible learning activities early in the curriculum, post-registration nursing students can quickly become information literate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-468
Number of pages11
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

Keywords

  • Curricular interventions
  • Information literacy
  • Post-registration students
  • Program evaluation
  • Writing skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education

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