In the Media: Nurses Find New Knowledge in the Palms of their Hands

    • August 29, 2012

How can nurses keep up with the ceaseless flow of new information about health and health care?

Many are finding the answer in the palms of their hands.

The vast majority of nursing students and professional nurses use mobile technology to earn their degrees and carry out professional responsibilities, according to a recent survey of nearly 4,000 nurses and nursing students. The study found that nearly three-quarters of nurses (71 percent) and two-thirds of nursing students (66 percent) use iPhones or other smartphones while on the job or while attending nursing school.

The study was conducted by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a company that publishes health care information in print and electronic formats. The findings were released in April.

The rise of mobile technology in nursing eases the profession’s burden of memorization, according to a January article on the intersection of nursing and technology in the New York Times. It doesn’t mean that nurses need to know less information when they interact with patients, according to the story. It simply helps nurses manage an exploding amount of new knowledge about health and health care.

“There are too many drugs now, too many interactions, too many tests, to memorize everything you would need to memorize,” Joann Eland, RN, FAAN, FNAP, an associate professor at the College of Nursing University of Iowa, told the Times. “We can’t rely nearly as much as we used to on the staff knowing the right dose or the right timing.”

What do you think? What does mobile technology mean for the nursing profession? Share your views in the “Comment” tab at the bottom of this story—and use that tab to comment on the stories in Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge.