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Connecting Congregations: Technology Resources Influence Parish Nurse Practice

ZERULL, LISA M. MSN, RN, FCN; NEAR, KELLY K. MSN, WHNP-BC, MLS; RAGON, BART MLIS; FARRELL, SARAH P. APRN, PhD, BC

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: May-June 2009 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 143-150
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e31819f79fb
Feature Article

This descriptive pilot study evaluated the influence of health resource information education and the use of Web-based communication technology on the professional practice of the parish nurse in the congregational setting. Five parish nurse participants from varied denominations in rural and nonrural Virginia received a laptop computer, printer, video projector, and webcam along with high-speed Internet access in each congregational setting. The nurses attended two group education sessions that incorporated computer applications and training in accessing and using quality health information resources and communication applications such as a group "chat" software and webcam to communicate with others through high-speed Internet access. Qualitative analysis from semistructured interviews of nurses confirmed that participants found the project to be beneficial in terms of awareness, education, and applicability of technology use in parish nurse practice. Quantitative data from preproject and postproject surveys found significant differences in nurses' abilities and confidence with technology use and application. Findings showed that the knowledge and experience gained from this study enhanced parish nurse practice and confidence in using technology for communication, health education, and counseling.

Author Affiliations: Claude Moore Health Sciences Library (Ms Near and Mr Ragon); University of Virginia School of Nursing, (Drs Zerull and Farell), Charlottesville, VA.

Supporting institutions. University of Virginia Health System: Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, PO Box 800722, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0722; and University of Virginia School of Nursing, PO Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0722.

Poster presentation of research: Near K, Ragon R, Zerull LM, Farrell S. Connecting Congregations: Access to Online Health Information for Parish Nurses in Virginia. Poster presentation at the Southern Chapter and Mid-Atlantic Chapter/Medical Library Association Joint Conference; October 12-16, 2006; Atlanta, GA.

This research was funded by the National Library of Medicine under a contract (NO1-LM-1-3522) with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Corresponding author: Lisa M. Zerull, MSN, RN, FCN, Doctoral Candidate, 339 Green Spring Dr, Winchester, VA 22603 (dzerull@msn.com).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.