“Bridging the Information Gap” for Virginia Public Health Nurses

Authors

  • Phyllis C. Self Ph.D.,

    1. Phyllis C. Self and Ellen N. Sayed are with the University Library System and JoAnne K. Henry is with the School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
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  • Ellen N. Sayed B.A., M.L.S.,

    1. Phyllis C. Self and Ellen N. Sayed are with the University Library System and JoAnne K. Henry is with the School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
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  • JoAnne K. Henry Ed.D., R.N., C.S.

    Corresponding author
    1. Phyllis C. Self and Ellen N. Sayed are with the University Library System and JoAnne K. Henry is with the School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
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Address correspondence to JoAnne K. Henry. Ed.D., R.N., C.S., VCU School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980567, Richmond, VA 23298-0567.

Abstract

Abstract This project was designed to increase the public health nurse's knowledge and use of health science information resources available from the National Library of Medicine's databases through the use of the Grateful Med software program. In 1994, the Tompkins-McCaw Library located on the Medical College of Virginia Campus (MCV) of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was awarded a Nursing Information Access Grant from the Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). This project was a collaboration of the Tompkins McCaw Library, the VCU School of Nursing, and The Virginia Department of Health. Sixty public health nurses received Grateful Med training. Session evaluations were conducted and indicate that although public health nurses received training and had access to health science information resources through Grateful Med, subsequent use of the resources was very limited. Similar to reports on information-seeking behaviors of physicians, public health nurses seek information from colleagues, personal collections, and other resources locally available. Reasons for the project's limited success in changing the health science information seeking and utilization practices of public health nurses are discussed, and potential solutions are proposed.

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