Nurse educators face the expectation of creating student environments that support and sustain use of technology as part of contemporary practice aimed at enhancement of client health. Yet, educational, health, and socioeconomic disparities within multicultural, urban settings pose challenges to nursing faculty as they facilitate preparing future community health nurses. One way nursing schools and nurse educators may be able and willing to continue to use advanced, evolving technology within the educational setting is through the use of mobile, wireless technology, such as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The purpose of this research was to investigate where scant literature can be found, that is, how multicultural nursing students in a public, urban college experience use of the PDA as a technological learning aid in various clinical sites, including the community health nursing clinical setting. This qualitative naturalistic pilot study, funded as a Teaching and Learning with Technology Development Grant, was designed to contribute to the science of new trends and experiences in teaching and learning, specifically to enhance undergraduate nursing education through the use of technology. Focus group methodology employing sessions with nine study participants revealed that PDA use: (1) enhanced students’ technological adoption; (2) assisted in day-to-day practicality; (3) assisted as an educational aid; (4) increased students’ technology informatics mastery; (5) enhanced students’ professionalism via increased confidence; and (6) enhanced students’ awareness of the complexities in client care provision. The study highlights that schools of nursing facing socioeconomic challenges still have the responsibility to adopt, embrace, and sustain the most current information and technological aids with an eye on providing optimal client care across all clinical settings. In fact, findings from the study have influenced the current adoption of mandatory PDA provision for all undergraduate nursing students at the multicultural, public, urban college where the research took place.
|Keywords:||Technology, Community Health Nursing, Multicultural, Public, Urban Setting, Personal Digital Assistant|
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing, New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Associate Professor, Nursing, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, New York, USA
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