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Nurses’ Information Appraisal Within the Clinical Setting

CARTER-TEMPLETON, HEATHER PhD, RN-BC

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: April 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 167–175
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182812ef6
Continuing Education

Limited discussion in nursing literature exists regarding how nurses appraise information. In the absence of information appraisal skills, nurses cannot safely and effectively apply evidence in practice. The research study used an interpretive description design to define and describe the process of information appraisal in the clinical setting. This study represented a sample of 44 RNs employed at a medical center in the Southeastern US. Based on the descriptions offered by participants, information appraisal contains three dimensions: gathering, analysis, and application. In addition, nurses perform information appraisal by way of an unspoken algorithm, incorporating two major decision points: first situational urgency, then familiarity with information sources. In most cases, the trusted resource served as a proxy for evaluating the information that was provided by the resource. Findings suggest that information appraisal is described in a number of ways by nurses, resulting in an unclear definition for the process. Understanding the perceptions of this sample has given insight into how nurses describe and perform information evaluation. Knowledge gained from this study may be used by nurse educators in the academic and clinical setting as they work to deliver relevant information that facilitates providing the highest-quality care.

Author Affiliation: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

The author was a participant in the NLN Scholarly Writing Retreat sponsored by the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education.

The author has disclosed that he has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Heather Carter-Templeton, PhD, RN-BC, Box 870358, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 (hcartertempleton@ua.edu).

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.