Objectives: This paper introduces research in progress and reports preliminary results corresponding to research conducted with Remote Area Nurses (RANs) in Australia regarding the extent to which computer based information technologies are utilised to support clinical practice, enhance formal and informal education and reduce professional isolation. Methods: 150 surveys were mailed to members of the Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA) at the end of September 2004. 43 surveys were returned providing a 28.6% response rate. Each completed questionnaire was entered into a computer database and analysed with the assistance of SPSS. Qualitative data was examined using a thematic analysis and is used to highlight the significance of the quantitative data. Results: Preliminary results indicate the existence of a "digital divide" for nurses working in remote locations. Despite having physical access to a computer and recognising benefits of computer-based information technologies to professional nursing practice, RANs reported that infrastructure associated with internet and email access, a lack of technical skills, knowledge and time constraints were amongst barriers that impeded their access to, and utilisation of, computerbased information technologies. Conclusion: The preliminary analysis of data suggests that there is a need to investigate further the problems associated with the utilisation of computer-based information technologies in nursing. This will afford education providers, employers and professional nursing organisations the opportunity to better target their strategies and support systems in order to enhance the usage of information that will support nurses in their clinical practice.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|