Discourse / Discours - Developing a Relationship With the Computer in Nursing Practice: A Grounded Theory

Barbara L. Cross, Marjorie MacDonald


While there is evidence that information technology can improve clinical practice, nurses have been slow to adopt computers and information systems. The purpose of this study was to develop substantive theory on how nurses integrate computers into their clinical practice and to identify influencing factors. Using grounded theory, the researchers conducted interviews with 12 nurses practising in two acute-care hospitals in the Canadian province of British Columbia. All participants engaged in developing a relationship with the computer in their practice. They integrated computers into their practice at varying speeds and degrees of adoption, depending on personal characteristics, prior experience with computers, the extent to which computerization was congruent with their values, whether they were able to see the benefits of the technology, and their ability to manage and overcome the barriers to computer use. Nurses require both organizational supports to facilitate technology integration and computer education in their basic nursing programs.

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