“Information Literacy as the Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice in Graduate Nursing Education: A Curriculum-Integrated Approach” by Susan Jacobs

The article by Susan Jacobs, Peri Rosenfeld, and Judith Haber entitled “Information Literacy as the Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice in Graduate Nursing Education: A Curriculum-Integrated Approach” emphasizes an essential question: are the modern master’s nursing students able to sufficiently understand and use electronic information resources to make accurate clinical decisions. The article argues that although contemporary nursing students are submerged into the world of the World Wide Web, their skill and professionalism in this field are still doubtful. This thesis is supported by a statement that in order to train highly qualified professionals for administrative, academic, or clinical positions, information literacy course must be integrated into all master’s educational programs so that the graduates can adequately evaluate and weigh the evidence obtained from electronic sources, and make reliable competent work-related decisions. The implementation of the information literacy course is a project that integrates electronic literacy into five major courses within the master’s program of nursing. This is being carried out by the nursing faculties, as well as the libraries.

The success of this plan proves to be inter mutual: from the side of the faculty and the side of the students. The members of the faculty have noticed a higher student performance concerning their assignments. The satisfaction level of the students has also increased according to the survey results. This paper highlights the fact that computer literacy that is possessed by most modern individuals does not necessarily mean information literacy, as the emergence of electronic data sources has brought a revolution into the world of scholarly communication. The article gives a few perspectives on the definition of information literacy, but it underlines the most important one, which states that information literacy is the ability to recognize the need for information when it is required, and also the ability to find, assess, and give this information a good use. One of the main goals of this academic program is to clear miscomprehensions linked to information navigation, for example, the misperception of easy and free access to literature through various electronic databases. This is for the most part a delusion, as there are very few web-based resources that contain the needed information, and most of them are not free of charge. The information literacy course uses a strategy of multi-level approach towards the students. It is believed that the students must elevate their skills of online search one step at a time.

The article defines evidence-based medicine, as unambiguous and sober-minded use of the available evidence towards making decisions in individual patient care. It compares evidence-based medicine to evidence-based nursing. Both nursing and medicine are commonly characterized by optimal clinical judgment in accordance with to best available evidence. This paper provides a brief list of some assignments for the students of the information literacy course. They include literature reviews on major population health concerns, therapeutic interventions, evaluation of websites related to the content of the course. The course also teaches some basic web searching techniques, methods of literature filtering for different topics, and the use of bibliographic managing software. The article concludes that as the challenge of the faculty has shifted from teaching the master’s students general computer and Windows skills, word processing, and spreadsheets a decade ago, towards providing instructions on how to effectively navigate electronic resources, and evaluate the retrieved information, there is a great need for the faculty to train professionals who are efficient consumers of various types of information.

References

Jacobs, S. Rosenfeld, P. Haber, J. (2003). Information Literacy as the Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice in Graduate Nursing Education: A Curriculum-Integrated Approach. Journal of Professional Nursing, 19(5) 320-28.