Computers and PDAs in Nursing Programs

  1. 0
    Does your nursing program advocate the use of Tablet PCs, PDAs or Nursing Textbooks on PC? If so, which?

    My nursing program has all of the first semester nursing books purchased in a bundle and searchable across all the titles.

    Because my nursing program has clinicals in many different hospitals, nursing notes have been restricted to paper. Are any of you using PDAs, Tablet PCs, or Notebook computers?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 1
    My school doesn't advocate the use of a PDA, no teacher has even once mentioned the use of them, but I have one. They are very handy, and you are able to get a lot of books online as programs for your PDA. I won't go into detail about all the books you can get for it, you can find about anything you want for it at

    While some opt to get the phones with palm, I chose to get Palm's T|X due to its large screen, but whatever you get, make sure its a Palm OS. I know most schools that do advise people to use a PDA, they suggest getting one with a Palm OS.
    ADPIE10 likes this.
  4. 1
    We had to purchase our textbooks in a bundle which included about $160 for a set of electronic copies that are searchable (Evolve). It's definitely not worth the money, IMO.

    We aren't required to have PDAs but several people, including me, do have them. I'm a big fan, especially if you get a keyboard to go along with it. Makes collecting data for care plans (which completely suck, by the way) much quicker and more thorough.

    No on tablet PCs
    ADPIE10 likes this.
  5. 1
    I conducted a survey with the NLN on nursing informatics in nursing education. As part of the survey we asked if handheld computers, or PDAs, were required. Only about 3% overall required them. However, BSN and graduate programs were far more likely to require their use. Nurse Practitioner programs are the most likely.

    However, around half the respondents said nursing students had some exposure to handheld computers. Often they are shared within a group.

    I believe nurses need to begin using resources as needed in the clinical area. We can not rely on memory for all the things we need to know. As you use the reference tools you will begin to memorize the things you use often.

    I think the survey showed that most faculty are not familiar enough with how a handheld computer could be used in teaching and practice. Faculty are not going to advocate what they don't know. Things are changing, but rather slowly.
    ADPIE10 likes this.
  6. 2

    As a clinical instructor, I do use my PDA w/ Epocrates software during clinical and nursing students are very interested in knowing more about it. It is very helpful to me as an instructor for quick reference. For nurses, there is the software "Epocrates Essentials for Nurses".... check the current price and see if you can purchase the PDA (palm OS) and the software together at a much lower price. There is a choice of yearly or a 2 year subscription for the software. The website is

    ManNurse01 and ADPIE10 like this.
  7. 1
    My school requires the Palm TX and the unbound med's nursing central. We also have to have 9 different text books as well as a nursing binder the faculty puts together that has lecture outlines for the entire semester. Over all first semester books and supplies alone are $1700, but most of the books we use for the entire 4 semesters.
    ADPIE10 likes this.
  8. 1
    I just taught a Kaplan class of 15 GNs from assorted schools. I asked how many used PDAs. Only one student said it was required, one said she bought one on her own, and several said they were NOT ALLOWED use them! Their instructors thought it was cheating to use a resource to aid in your practice.

    I then went out and quit nursing...
    ADPIE10 likes this.
  9. 0
    I wrote a grant to study the use of PDA's in the clinical setting in the ADN program that I teach. I love the ability to have instant access to information in my pocket. I just got the PDA and haven't used it on clinical, but found it useful in my ED shifts. I think our program will find it is beneficial for students to have PDA'a and require that for the Fall of 2009.
  10. 0
    i think its great to be able to have a PDA to use as a resource tool , but i do not believe the school should require students to purchase them.
  11. 1
    Quote from 08cbrule
    i think its great to be able to have a PDA to use as a resource tool , but i do not believe the school should require students to purchase them.
    Your school requires you to buy textbooks. Textbooks are tools you use as resources to learn about nursing. So why not require the use of a handheld computer if it also works as a better resource for learning than a textbook?

    Here's one example. In cases such as drug guides they are better. A computerized drug guide has the same information as a text but is faster, can aid in dosage calculation, check drug interactions, and even show you a picture of the pill.

    I could go on...

    As an instructor I have a responsibilty to help you become the best prepared nurse you can be. If I am not using all avaiable resources, aren't I letting students down?

    Please explain why you think they should not be required? There are some good reasons but please don't answer because it is too expensive. The cost of a handheld computer and a complete collection of software is under $700. That is not much different than the cost of texts and gives students a tool that can change the way they practice.

    Do you have other objections?
    nursestudent'sbf likes this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors