Nurses’ confidence and experience in using information technology

Eley, Robert, Fallon, Tony, Soar, Jeffrey, Buikstra, Elizabeth and Hegney, Desley (2008) Nurses’ confidence and experience in using information technology. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25 3: 23-35.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
nurses_confidence.pdf nurses confidence.pdf application/pdf 149.60KB 0

Author Eley, Robert
Fallon, Tony
Soar, Jeffrey
Buikstra, Elizabeth
Hegney, Desley
Title Nurses’ confidence and experience in using information technology
Journal name Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1447-4328
Publication date 2008-03-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 23
End page 35
Total pages 13
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australian Nursing Federation
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
920210 Nursing
089999 Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified
111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Abstract Objective In order to support policy planning for health, nurses in Australia were surveyed to determine their current use of information technology and barriers to that use. Design A self-administered postal survey. Setting Nurses throughout Australia. Subjects The survey was distributed to 10,000 members of the Australian Nursing Federation. Main outcome measures Data on nurses’ experience and confidence in use of computers and information and technology across all sectors of nursing in Australia. Results Of the 4330 respondents (response rate 43.3%), 86% used computers at work. Most frequent uses were for managing patient records, continuing professional education, communication, accessing policies and procedures and accessing clinical results. Experience in the use of information technology ranged from 90% for a common application such as word processing to 64% for reference tools. Confidence in use of the technology was generally low with fewer than 25% of nurses stating they were very confident in using any software application. Results varied by level of nurse, their age, and length of time in nursing. Assistants in nursing and enrolled nurses had significantly lower experience and confidence than registered nurses, while younger nurses and those with the least time in nursing were more experienced and confident. Conclusion For most of Australia’s nurses, experience and confidence in use of information technology is confined to basic computer and common applications. In order to use information technology to support health delivery, action to increase access for nurses and remove barriers to use is urgently required. Employers and policy makers at all levels of government must work with nurses to adopt strategies to increase their access to and use of information technology.
Keyword nurses
information technology
technolgical literacy
References 1 Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2001. Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2001. Cat.No:1216.0. Canberra, Australia. Available from: (accessed January 2008). 2 Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2006. Nursing and Midwifery Labour Force 2006. National Health Labour Force Series No. 37. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra. 3 Chan, T., Brew, S. and de Lusignan, S. 2004. Community nursing needs more silver surfers: a questionnaire survey of primary care nurses’ use of information technology. BMC Nursing, 3(1):4. 4 Darbyshire, P. 2000. User-friendliness of computerised information systems. Computers in Nursing, 18(2):93-99. 5 Edirippulige, S. 2005. Australian nurses’ perceptions of e-health. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 11(5):266-268. 6 Eley, R., Fallon, T., Soar, J., Buikstra, E. and Hegney, D. 2008a. Barriers to the use of information and computer technology by Australia’s nurses: a national survey. Journal of Clinical Nursing, (in press). 7 Eley, R., Fallon, T., Soar, J., Buikstra, E. and Hegney, D. 2008b. Training and education in information technology of Australia’s nurses: a national survey. Journal of Clinical Nursing, (in press). 8 Garde, S., Harrison, D., Huque, M. and Hovenga, E. 2006. Building health informatics skills for health professionals: results from the Australian Health Informatics Skill Needs Survey. Australian Health Review, 30(1):34-45. 9 Gosling, A.S., Westbrook, J. and Spencer, R. 2004. Nurses’ use of online clinical evidence. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47(2):210-211. 10 Griffiths, P. and Riddington, L. 2001. Nurses’ use of computer databases to identify evidence for practice - a cross sectional questionnaire survey in a UK hospital. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 18(1):2-9. 11 Hegge, M., Powers, P., Hendrickx, L. and Vinson, J. 2002. Competence, continuing education and computers. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 33(1):24-32. 12 Hillan, E.M., McGuire, M.M. and Cooper, M. 1998. Computers in midwifery practice: a view from the labour ward. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27(1):24-29. 13 Ho, J. 2004. The study of Queensland nurses’ attitudes and behaviour toward computerisation in the workplace. Central Queensland University, Rockhampton: Queensland, Australia. 14 Klotz, J. and Reis, J. 2005. Exploring computer technology usage amongst remote area nurses in Australia: a preliminary analysis. In: M. Wise., H. Grain and S. Chu (eds). Proceedings of the National Health Informatics Conference 2005. Health Informatics Society of Australia: East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. 15 Liu, J., Pothiban, L., Lu, Z. and Khamphonsiri, T. 2000. Computer knowledge, attitudes, and skills of nurses in People’s Hospital of Beijing Medical University. Computers in Nursing, 18(4):197-206. 16 Richardson, S. and Martin, B. 2004. The care of older Australians - a picture of the residential aged care workforce. The National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Available from: ageing-workforce-workforcerep.htm-copy2 (accessed January 2008). 17 Smedley, A. 2005. The Importance of informatics competencies in nursing: an Australian perspective. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 23(2):106-110. 18 Turner, A. and Stavri, Z. 2003. A digital divide: assessing the information needs and use of nurses from an Oregon county public health department. Paper presented at the 131st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), 14-20 November, San Francisco: USA. Available from: (accessed January 2008). 19 Webster, J, Davis, J., Holt, V., Stallan, G., New, K. and Yegdich, T. 2003. Australian nurses and midwives knowledge of computers and their attitudes to using them in their practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41(2):140-146.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 09 Apr 2008, 01:05:13 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences