Information Literacy: A Prerequisite to Evidence-Based Nursing
Belcik, Kimberly Dawn
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Purpose: Information literacy is an ambiguous term that many professionals in various fields, including nursing, have attempted to define. It is emphasized as a skill nurses should have yet it has not been conceptualized within nursing. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the concept of information literacy. This analysis emphasizes information literacy in the context of nursing as a prerequisite to evidence-based nursing practice. Methods: The method used to analyze the concept is the Walker and Avant method. All steps of the Walker and Avant method are used with the exemption of the invented and illegitimate cases in line with the philosophy of Rodgers. The invented and illegitimate cases are addressed in the form of a related case. The social context of the concept is addressed in implications for theory, research, and practice. Findings: A theoretical definition of information literacy was derived from the literature. It is a self-directed, independent ability to locate access and/or retrieve information efficiently from available sources, evaluating the quality of the information and managing and organizing the information while understanding the implications of doing so. Seven antecedents and eight consequences of the concept were identified. A model case describes a nurse using the Internet to help her patient make a decision about diagnostic testing. A contrary case describes a nurse attempting to find information on medications. The related case presents a nurse using critical thinking skills to care for a post-operative patient. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Literacy Assessment by the Educational Testing Service is presented as an empirical referent. Conclusions: Considering the findings, information literacy is a skill nurses should have as a prerequisite to evidence-based nursing practice.