The effects of pre-requisite library research instruction on the information seeking knowledge and behavior of community college students in an introductory nursing course
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The nursing profession is evolving from basing patient care on tradition and expert opinion to emphasizing evidence based practice. Literature suggests that nurses do not have the information literacy skills required for evidence based practice, and that they have neither adequate instruction nor the experience needed to effectively, efficiently, and ethically find the information that they need. To help meet this need, this dissertation examines the effects of a pre-requisite information literacy credit course on the information seeking behavior of community college students in an introductory nursing course. I used a convergent parallel designed mixed-methods research approach, employing both a knowledge based assessment (n = 153) and a series of interviews/focus groups (n= 16) to test the hypothesis and sub-hypotheses. Students' exposure to the library (using library databases, receiving assistance from a reference librarian, or attending a "one-shot" library instruction session) was also measured. Using the Chi-square test for association, a statistically significant relationship was found between the correct answers on the knowledge based assessment and the completion of the course: X2 (3, N = 153) = 19.03, p < .00; suggesting that students who completed LIB 101 performed significantly better on the knowledge based assessment than the students who did not complete LIB 101. A low, significant, and positive relationship was found between the completion of the course and the information literacy score, rpb = .26, p < .01 using Point-Biserial correlation. Regression Analysis provided evidence that the library course was a significant predictor of the information literacy score, t(150) = 2.12, p < .05. Eleven themes supporting the quantitative study emerged from the interviews/focus groups. Although the research supported the main hypothesis, there is much room for further study--not only within the confines of the effect of such a course on nursing students, but also the effect of information literacy instruction on both student and practicing nurses. The future of nursing relies upon evidence based practice, and, ultimately, evidence based practice relies on information literate nurses.