Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the acceptance of healthcare technology, attitudes toward technology, and technology self-efficacy that might influence nursing students' technology readiness. It is posited that healthcare technology acceptance, positive attitudes toward technology, self-efficacy, and increased use of technology in the learning environment will all contribute significantly to nursing students' technology readiness; although the degree to which they impact readiness must be better understood to fully inform potential changes to the curriculum. Understanding nursing students’ feelings and confidence with healthcare technology is critical because it enables the identification of barriers and gaps that can be used to generate strategies for improving training and access to technology to enhance safe nursing care.
Background: Technology readiness in healthcare is defined as the tendency of healthcare workers to adopt and effectively use new health technologies to accomplish goals in their workplace (Parasuraman, 2000). Technology is embedded in many aspects of healthcare. This is especially true in nursing, where technology is utilized in their daily work through charting, medication administration, clinical decision-making, healthcare team communication, and information resource usage (Ten Hoeve et al., 2019). Nursing students are introduced to many healthcare technologies while in their nursing programs and expected to utilize them upon entering the workforce (Elewa & El Guindy, 2017; Mollart et al., 2021; Shin et al., 2018). Nursing schools do not provide consistent and standardized education and training in technologies used in healthcare due to many barriers, leaving many novice nurses ill-prepared to transition into clinical practice (Mollart et al., 2021; Strahan, 2017; Wolters Kluwer Health, 2020). Employers found that new nurse graduates were inadequately prepared to use healthcare technologies on entering the workplace and nurse faculty reported that new nurse graduates were not proficient in using the EHR and other technologies in clinical settings (Miller et al., 2014; Shin et al., 2018).
Methods: This study will use a descriptive, cross-sectional design. This design is appropriate due to the nature of the study aims, which describe the current state of the variables without manipulation. A convenience sample of final-year pre-licensure nursing students enrolled in their last year of a nursing school program in Southern Nevada will be asked to answer an electronic, anonymous survey. Students selected will represent students about to graduate and enter the workforce as novice nurses; thus, an understanding of their current technology readiness will be captured as the study outcomes.
Implications: The findings of this study will inform nursing education efforts to increase nursing students' confidence, competence, and acceptance of healthcare technology, resulting in increased utilization of healthcare technology in future practice. The proposed changes to nursing education in informatics and technology not only include the hands-on skill attainment through use of technology in the classroom and clinical setting, but also through informatics education efforts that will encourage users to embrace the utility of these tools, to incorporate them in the assessment and interview of the patient and respect the safety aspects and efficiencies they provide so that workarounds are avoided.