Assessing Outcomes with Nursing Research Assignments and Citation Analysis of Student Bibliographies
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The American Nurses’ Association (1989) identified the investigative functions of a nurse at various educational levels. The ANA described the functions of nurses at the baccalaureate level as follows: “Reads, interprets, and evaluates research for applicability to nursing practice . . . shares research findings with colleagues.” Nursing faculty must design curriculum and assignments that prepare students to effectively carry out these investigative functions. Nursing students must use these learning opportunities to develop and practice the required skills. While access to library and information services cannot guarantee incorporation of literature into student work and clinical practice, it is a critical prerequisite. Changes in library and educational technologies have resulted in an increasing use of electronic databases and Internet sites for health research. Distance-learning programs have further increased this use by bringing academic courses and electronic library collections to students who may never step onto the physical campus. Access to information and information services remains critical for all students, and the institution offering distance-learning programs remains responsible for providing these resources and services.