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Crossing the Clinical Chasm: From the Backpack to the Palm

Clark, Kathy MS, RN; Colevins, Helen MFA, MLS, MAEd; Bond, Diana MS, RN

Journal for Nurses in Professional Development: March-April 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p E14-E18
doi: 10.1097/NND.0b013e31819e0f4d

Wake Area Health Education Center's RN Refresher program is designed to return RNs to practice. The purpose of this project was to focus on the use of the personal digital assistant (PDA) as a strategy to expedite the student's orientation to the clinical area. Nursing and library staff collaborated to research and purchase PDAs, along with clinical reference software, and provided these tools to RN Refresher students prior to the clinical practicum. Overall, students believed that the instruction was effective and were more comfortable with handheld computers. They also identified the most helpful software.

The authors describe the uses of a personal digital assistant to assist in orientation of nursing students to the critical area.

Kathy Clark, MS, RN, is Associate Director, RN Refresher, Wake Area Health Education Center, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Helen Colevins, MFA, MLS, MAEd, is Assistant Director Programs, North Carolina Medical Society, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Diana Bond, MS, RN, is Director, CME/Quality, Wake Area Health Education Center, Raleigh, North Carolina.

ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Diana Bond, MS, RN, CME/Quality, Wake Area Health Education Center, Raleigh, NC 27604-2657 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.