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Scholarship, Practice, and Leadership in Nursing

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Information literacy is foundational to scholarship, practice, and leadership. The three areas are dependent on information for their basic functions. Scholarship, practice, and leadership require information literacy: the ability to find, evaluate, and organize information for efficient operation. Nursing requires a high level of scholarship, practice, and leadership from initial entry to the profession. Information literacy is crucial to every area of nursing. Nursing in Scholarship, Practice, and Leadership

Scholarship in nursing begins before entering a nursing program, in the prerequisites required for acceptance. Nurses are scholars throughout their professional careers because of the continuously changing nature of healthcare. Nurses must pursue continuing education, often as a licensure requirement (California Board of Registered Nursing, 2014). Nurses are leaders. Every nurse has to lead patients toward health, lead families toward difficult decisions, and lead staff members through a shift. Nursing is a practice-centered profession. There are nurses solely in academia, administration, case management, and policy development, but even the scholastic and leadership activities of nurses eventually benefit practice. Scholarship and Information Literacy

Nursing programs are science programs, and science is information. Nursing students must find and internalize an enormous volume of information, and integrate it into a useful mental structure for practice. Turusheva said, “Students need not so much knowledge itself, but the so-called information competence to survive in the changing information environment” (p. 127). Nurses must translate scholastic ability into practice every day. Practice and Information Literacy

Daily nursing practice requires information literacy to retrieve current information on medications, diagnoses, treatments, and for patient teaching. Nursing, like many other professions, has seen information literacy change at a phenomenal rate. Nurses must be computer literate for daily practice. Information systems require nurse interaction to store patient data. These systems provide treatment suggestions, warnings, and teaching information for the patient. The nursing practitioner may spend as much as 35% of available work time on information management rather than on patient care (Yee, et al., 2012). Nurses must be able to retrieve very specific and sensitive information from multiple sources often during the course of one phone conversation. Nurses translate this information literacy into increasing leadership in the healthcare and academic world. Leadership and Information Literacy

Modern, effective leadership requires information literacy in any field. Leadership in nursing starts at entry level and is integral to all areas of nursing practice. Nursing leaders may work in education, public policy, and community health, as well as clinical healthcare. Healthcare is a rapidly moving arena on many levels, and nurse leaders must have a high level of information literacy to maintain a professional nursing presence on the forefront of healthcare development. Regardless of where a nurse works, there will be leadership elements, and effective leadership requires information literacy. Missing Elements

Nursing is relatively new as a profession. Nurses enter the profession with a wide range of education levels, often under the same licensure. The Licensed Practical Nurse (or Vocational Nurse in some states) may have a diploma or certificate, or may have an Associate Degree. The Registered Nurse may have an Associate Degree or a Doctorate. This variability in education associated with licensure can create problems when the employing organization places the same expectations on the nurses regardless of their level of education (Lane & Kohlenberg, 2010). Scholarship with Minimal Access to Information Literacy

Once nurses were dependent for information access on whatever books were available in the very limited local space of the nurses’ station. Nurses in rural areas and who work for small companies often still have very limited access to information. Computers may not be available or may be for internal use only with no research materials or open internet access (Singh, Lichter, Danzo, Taylor, & Rosenthal, 2012). Often older nurses do not have the skills involved in modern information literacy (Fantin, 2010). Badke (2009) discusses the loss of library-related information skills and knowledge among the younger generation. There is an opposite lack of education regarding new systems of information literacy among older nursing professionals. Kuthanek (2011) found that the variable range of computer skills among nurses is a significant barrier to the adoption of computerization of healthcare facilities. Practice without Leadership

Nurse employers often promotes leaders from within the organization. However, it is rare to find leadership skills taught to nurses below the graduate level (Schwarzkopf, Sherman, & Kiger, 2012). Nurses with Associate level educations may lack the leadership skills required for effective supervision of staff (Kroll & Hoogendijk, 1997). Nursing assistants under the supervision of nurses have a different perception of the level of leadership needed from those nurses than the nurses do. There is a lack of leadership and leadership training in practicing nurses (Liu, Liu, & Wang, 2011). Leadership without Scholarship

There is an increasing call for entry level nursing to begin at the Baccalaureate level of education. The current wide range of education of entry level nurses, many of whom are very experienced but have never advanced their education, places an unfair requirement on nurses with less education to perform in the same roles expected of nurses with a much greater depth of education (Lane & Kohlenberg, 2010). Nurses often fill leadership roles without the scholarship needed for nurse leaders. Higher level education teaches not just pedagogic knowledge, but critical thinking and research abilities required for effective leadership. The result is often high rates of staff turnover and reduced quality care indicators (Liu, Liu, & Wang, 2011). Organizational Transformation and Information Literacy

The adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) provides some training to improve the information literacy of practicing nurses. Organizations that adopt EMR must provide computer training to the employees expected to use the system. Weiner (2012) said that organizations must identify the current needs of their population when integrating information literacy. The nursing population often requires such training to begin with the use of a mouse. Russell (2009) states education on information literacy should start in primary school. Information literacy today is a different thing than it was when these nurses were in primary, or tertiary school. O’Mahony, Wright, Yogeswaran, and Govere (2014) found that attitudes among nurses toward the adoption of EMR were positive for many reasons, including easier access to information. However, there was also a widely expressed need for training in computers and electronic information management. An Academic Discussion

An academic discussion is essentially a collaboration of thought between people who have the academic training to analyze, integrate, and synthesize the information discussed. Radda and Mandernach (2012) discuss the importance of academic discussion in the development of a doctoral voice and presence in an online doctoral education setting. Doctoral discussion can serve to integrate information from multiple disciplines, and from multiple perspectives such as scholarship, leadership, and practice. Academic discussion may lead to the synthesis of new models and theoretical frameworks. Contributing to an Academic Discussion

An academic discussion requires contributions from each member that build on the previous contributions. The contribution may extend the main point, or may present a corollary to it, or may give a different perspective, but it should substantively extend the discussion (University of Phoenix, 2013). A contributor should offer information that is verifiable and referenced with appropriate academic rigor. Even in informal discussions, members participating in an academic discussion expect the contributions to be valid information with available support. Additions to the Dialogue

The problems facing the nursing profession in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and practice are profound. There are gaps in the inter-relation between scholarship, leadership, and practice that are more difficult because of a lack of modern information literacy among existing nurses. Nurses need theoretical models to promote continuing education and elevate the information literacy of nurses already in practice. Fantin (2010) discusses the need for information literacy inclusion in earlier education. There is also a need for promoting information literacy as a continuation of existing education. Creation Resulting from Discussion Contribution

This retro-active view of educating current practitioners regarding modern information literacy creates an extension of the concept of information literacy informing scholarship, leadership, and practice. The scholarship, practice, and leadership (SPL) model is a model of doctoral education. However, it is applicable to a wide range of professional education areas. The contribution of the professional continuing education aspect of information literacy may create a cohort for further dialogue on the subject. New Understandings

Participants in this dialogue may form a new understanding of the educational needs of nurses in current practice. This example of the need to extend opportunities for updated education in information literacy to current practitioners may be generalizable to many professions. The meaning of information literacy has changed. It is important for the academic community to understand that existing scholars have not all had the opportunity to update their information literacy skills to reflect those changes. Activity Related to Information Literacy

The University of Phoenix Doctor of Education in Education Leadership and Education Technology provides the skills and opportunity to improve the information literacy of nurses. The improvement of continuing nursing education models and theory using modern technology is a goal that requires information literacy at every level. This program will aid leadership objectives that require scholastic rigor to improve nursing practice. Information literacy is required throughout the scholastic, leadership, and practice aspects of the nursing profession, and improving nursing information literacy is a valuable goal for this doctoral student, as well as being a current activity in practice through support of EMR implementation.

Badke, W. (2009). How we failed the net generation. Online, 33(4), 47. California Board of Registered Nursing (2014). Continuing education for license renewal. Retrieved from: http://www.rn.ca.gov/licensees/ce-renewal.shtml Fantin, M. (2010). Perspectives on media literacy, digital literacy and information literacy. International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence (IJDLDC), 1(4), 10-15. doi:10.4018/jdldc.2010100102 Kroll, C., & Hoogendijk, L. (1997) Nursing home managers’ perceptions of the delegation and supervisory skills of associate degree nurse graduates. The Journal of Nursing Administration 27(9), 3. doi: 10.1097/00005110-199709000-00001 Kuthanek, B. (2011). EMR development…Always be prepared. Nursing Management 42(12), 24-27. doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000407575.88737.e8 Lane, S., & Kohlenberg, E. (2010). The Future of Baccalaureate Degrees for Nurses. Nursing Forum, 45(4), 218-227. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6198.2010.00194.x Liu, L., Liu, W., & Wang, J. (2011). Work autonomy of certified nursing assistants in long-term care facilities: Discrepant perceptions between nursing supervisors and certified nursing assistants. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 12(7), 524-534. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2010.05.006 O’Mahony, D., Wright, G., Yogeswaran, P., and Govere (2014). Knowledge and attitudes of nurses in community health centres about electronic medical records. Curationis, 37(1), 1-6. DOI: 10.4102/curationis.v37i1.1150 Radda, H., & Mandernach, B. (2012). Doctoral education online: Challenging the paradigm. Journal Of Educational Technology, 9(3), 1-8. Russell, P. (2009). Why universities need information literacy now more than ever. Feliciter, 55(3), 92. Schwarzkopf, R., Sherman, R., & Kiger, A. (2012). Taking charge: Front-line nurse leadership development. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 43(4), 154-159. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20111101-29 Singh, R., Lichter, M., Danzo, A., Taylor, J., & Rosenthal, T. (2012). The adoption and use of health information technology in rural areas: results of a national
survey. The Journal of Rural Health: Official Journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association, 28(1), 16-27. doi:10.1111/j.1748-0361.2011.00370.x Turusheva, L. (2009). Students’ information competence and its importance for life-long education. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 12, 126. University of Phoenix. (2013). Dialogue. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, COM705 website. Weiner, S. (2012). Institutionalizing information literacy. The Journal of Academic Librianship, 38(5), 287-293. DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2012.05.004 Yee, T., Needleman, J., Pearson, M., Parkerton, P., Parkerton, M., and Wolstein, J. (2012). The influence of integrated electronic medical records and computerized nursing notes on nurses’ time spent in documentation. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing 30(6), 287-292. DOI: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e31824af835

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