University of Central Lancashire (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 396-403
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0179
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
The explosion of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) use in recent decades within healthcare, and particularly within nursing practice, is changing the ways in which patient care is delivered. Policy reviews and research evidence indicate that barriers to ICT usage are experienced by some groups of student nurses, particularly those who are mature and female, in a way that constrains potential impact on their professional development. This paper adds to and develops the research evidence in the field by examining the ways a group of mature, female nursing students utilise ICT within the boundaries of one pre-registration nursing programme based on partnership working between a large UK University School of Health and its related NHS Trusts.

The research aim was to explore students' use of ICT and how knowledge of this could impact on curriculum design and placement management.

The objectives of the study were to identify the barriers to education and practice learning for mature learners in relation to ICT.
Three research questions defined the parameters of the research. These were:
1) How are mature, female nursing students accessing and using ICT within nursing education?
2) What are the barriers that may prevent mature, female students from accessing and using ICT within nursing education?
3) What actions do mature, female nursing students consider may be taken to improve their knowledge and subsequent use of ICT in both their academic studies and clinical placement work?

A qualitative methodology was used employing case studies focused on the prior skills, skills development and academic/ practical development of mature female students in relation to ICT (biographical history).

Methods specifically included focus groups, interviews and observations of clinical practice in placement. Consideration was given to the interconnectedness of academic and clinical experiences as these students began to develop their professional identities.
Anticipated benefits were to develop positive practitioner identity and their confident use of ICT to contribute to improved patient outcomes.

Findings were that experiences of ICT relate to confidence, competence and the organisational culture of the clinical placement. The biographical history of the students and the extent to which student nurses were supported and encouraged to engage with ICT in their university programme shaped their development of confidence and competence in use of ICT in clinical settings. The data suggests that for many student nurses the feeling and experiences of being generationally, emotionally and hierarchically ‘locked out’ of using ICT raises real challenges for the extent to which UK government and regulatory policy is being effectively enacted for particular groups of student nurses. The study concluded that pre-registration pedagogic practice needs to take account of identity development alongside skills acquisition with a focus on the importance of an enabling ICT culture within placement. In other words the development of a collective efficacy in nurse pre-registration programmes that is suggestive of notions of being ICT ‘logged in’ rather than being ‘locked out’ for mature, female student nurses.
Student nurses, ICT, technology, barriers to education, barriers to learning.