ABSTRACT: Information literacy as the foundation for evidence-based practice in graduate nursing education: a curriculum-integrated approach.
As part of a system-wide initiative to advance evidence-based practice among clinicians, graduate students, and educators, the New York University Division of Nursing embarked on a curricular initiative to integrate components of information literacy in all core courses of the master’s program. Increasing competency in information literacy is the foundation for evidence-based practice and provides nursing professionals with the skills to be literate consumers of information in an electronic environment. Competency in information literacy includes an understanding of the architecture of information and the scholarly process; the ability to navigate among a variety of print and electronic tools to effectively access, search, and critically evaluate appropriate resources; synthesize accumulated information into an existing body of knowledge; communicate research results clearly and effectively; and appreciate the social issues and ethical concerns related to the provision, dissemination, and sharing of information. In collaboration with the New York University Division of Libraries’ Health Sciences Librarian, instructional modules in information literacy relevant to each of the 5 core nursing master’s courses were developed, complemented by a Web-based tutorial: http://library.nyu.edu/research/health/tutorial. The Web site is multifaceted, with fundamentals for the beginner, as well as more complex content for the advanced user. Course assignments were designed to promote specific competencies in information literacy and strategies for evaluating the strength of the evidence found. A survey of information literacy competencies, which assessed students’ knowledge, misconceptions, and use of electronic information resources, was administered when students entered the program and at 1-year intervals thereafter.