Undergraduate nursing students’ learning dynamics and their use of information and communications technology in clinical environments in South Korea
Lee, Jung Jae
Background Clinical placements are essential to nursing education, allowing students to gain live experience and knowledge of nursing in clinical environments prior to entering the healthcare workforce. Healthcare has increasingly integrated information and communication technology (ICT) into clinical environments, therefore ICT is also significant in nursing students’ clinical placements. However, research has revealed that despite its benefits, nurses and nursing students are unable to use ICT effectively for their practice and their learning. This may reflect one aspect of the challenges faced by nursing students as they learn during clinical placements. Therefore this research aims to analyse the dynamics of undergraduate nursing students’ learning and use of ICT during clinical placements. By doing so, this research seeks to develop theoretical models that can be used to improve clinical nursing education amidst the current technology era. - Research design This study was conducted in Seoul, South Korea. A qualitative-dominant mixed method strategy was adopted. Quantitative data was collected through the development of a modified Information Technology Attitude Scales for Health (ITASH), which was then administered to 508 nursing students from six different universities from October 2012 to December 2012. Constructivist grounded theory (CGT) guided qualitative data collection, which was achieved through sequence of four rounds of intensive individual and group interviews with 16 nursing students, 4 qualified nurses, and 2 university lecturers from April 2013 to June 2015 (a total of 23 individual interviews and 6 group interviews). The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of quantitative data analysis were supported by SPSS and LISREL, while the constant comparison approach of qualitative data was supported by Nvivo 10. - Findings The findings revealed: 1) nursing students’ learning dynamics through the qualitative research process based on CGT methodology, and 2) nursing students’ use of ICT during clinical placements based on the learning dynamics via both qualitative and quantitative research processes. In the learning dynamics, this study identified the nursing students’ cognitive learning and knowledge building process, and then the factors and dynamics influencing that process in the clinical environment. This was compared with classroom and simulation environments. Based on these dynamics, the factors and dynamics influencing the use of ICT for learning in the clinical environment was identified. An integration of the findings with supporting literature resulted in two theoretical models, the knowledge building dynamic (KBD) model and the contextual knowledge building dynamic (CKBD) model. These models assist in understanding the cognitive processes involved in an individual’s learning process, the influence of context and resulting dynamics on these processes, and subsequently, learning with ICT. - Conclusion This research expands on current nursing education literature by exploring the cognitive aspects of learning, specifically within the clinical environment. These are shaped by contextual factors such as socio-cultural factors, and their influence on students’ learning and use of clinical ICT. The theoretical models are relevant for several applications in educational assessment and design, policy, and in learning itself with the goal of improving the quality of patient care.