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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/21

Title: Informal Learning of Registered Nurses using Mobile Devices in the Healthcare Workplace
Authors: Fahlman, Willy
Supervisor(s): Moisey, Susan (Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Park, Caroline (Centre for Nursing & Health Studies, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University)
Kenny, Richard (Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University)
Petrucka, Pammla (University of Saskatchewan)
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: Nursing
Informal learning
Mobile devices
Workplace learning
Registered Nurses
Mixed Methods
Sequential explanatory
Self-directed learning
Handheld devices
Professional practice
Continuing professional education
Professional development
Continuing professional development
Reflective practice
Regulated nurses
Canadian healthcare
Issue Date: 6-Dec-2012
Abstract: This dissertation research study explored how registered nurses (RNs) use mobile devices as tools to support and enhance informal learning in their work settings. The mixed methods inquiry involved select Canadian practicing and regulated RNs who used mobile devices in their workplaces. A sequential explanatory research design collected quantitative and qualitative data using an online survey and semi-structured interviews. Quota sampling for the quantitative component yielded 170 usable online surveys. From the survey respondents, interview volunteers were purposively selected and ten (10) interviews were conducted. Descriptive, inferential, inductive, and integrated data analyses were conducted in order to explore strategies, processes, purposes, modes of use (individual [non-collaborative] or collaborative), and age-generational differences associated with RNs’ use of mobile devices for informal learning in the workplace. Findings indicated that the study participants primarily used their handheld devices for self-directed informal learning with non-collaborative strategies or processes in their work settings for accessing online resources for a range of reasons including: evidence-based support, new procedures/treatments, professional development, patient/client teaching, and maintaining competency. Age differences related to the use of mobile devices for informal learning were minimal. However, workplace-related influences including deficiencies in formal educational resources, Internet access, and/or employer support were relevant to the informal learning experiences. Positive perceptions of efficiencies, self-confidence, patient/client safety, patients/clients’ reactions, and the need for sanctioned resources for using mobile technologies in the healthcare workplace were articulated. The findings pointed to the significance of mobile devices as learning tools for RNs’ informal learning for construction of knowledge and meaning-making to inform professional development and continuing competence.
Graduation Date: Jan-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/21
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