Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Initiatives to Support EBN
The Issues of Using Personal Digital Assistants in the Nursing Program
Joan M. Andrea, DNP1, Ching-eng Wang, Phd1, and Katie Fisher, MSN2. (1) Nursing, North Park University, Chicago, IL, USA, (2) Nursing, North Park University, Chicago Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA
Learning Objective #1: Discuss the issues for the use of PDAs in a nursing program.
Learning Objective #2: Name three components that are important in the successful use of PDAs in a nursing program.

The journey from nursing student to novice registered nurse requires nursing educators to prepare students to manage information, time and knowledge.   Nurses are expected to utilize evidence based research in practice.  The wealth of information and the speed that it is generated demands that nurses find efficient ways to process this information.  Personal digital assistant devices (PDAs) can expedite retrieval of essential information for nursing students without leaving the bedside. Nursing students can view mini video clips before entering the patient’s room to perform tracheostomy care, insert a foley catheter, and calculate drug drip rates. The student can quickly reference medication information to verify doses, side effects and nursing considerations.  With the advent of polypharmacy, PDAs also provide a fast efficient way to discover drug incompatibilities.  With the multiple features of PDAs, they may very well be a tool that new nurses view to be as essential as their stethoscopes.
Nursing schools have begun to use PDAs as teaching tools. Although PDAs have many advantages,  issues also arise associated with its use.  The cost to students, the training of students and faculty, fear, resistant to change and the administrative support are only a few of the problems that can hinder its success.  This presentation will discuss issues related to its use and explore the strategy for successful implementation of a program using PDAs as tools to promote evidence-based practice for nursing students.     

            This article will review the literature on the use of  PDAs in nursing education.  By the end of the presentation, the learner will be able to identify three advantages for the use of PDAs in a nursing program.  Furthermore, the learner will be able to name three components necessary within the school that are important in the successful use of PDAs in a nursing program.