Abstract

[This article was originally published in Nursing Leadership, 29(3)

The use of mobile devices by nurse practitioners (NPs) to meet an evolving technological landscape is expanding rapidly. A longitudinal study of the ways NP students "normalize" the use of mobile devices in clinical education was completed. This study used researcher-designed survey tools, including sociodemographic questions, and the numerical picture was augmented and interpreted in light of the textual data in the form of selected interviews.

Data indicate that mobile technology is normalized in the social realm but still developing in the clinical realm. Progress is hindered by non-modelling by faculty, inconsistent healthcare policy and lack of understanding of the affordances available through this technology. Overall, mobile technology is utilized and normalized in practice; this in turn has influenced their ability to prepare students for practice.

Data presented can assist educators and clinicians alike in developing a more fulsome understanding on how to appropriately incorporate mobile technology into education and practice.

The challenge for many healthcare professionals is how to balance the need to respond to the reshaping of the communication culture of the current patient population within current ethical and clinical practice guidelines. The use of mobile devices by nurse practitioners (NPs) is expanding rapidly. It is critical to understand the development of this mobile community if we are to best meet the needs of current and future students in the face of emergent healthcare, technological, educational and societal trends.