Supporting the development of information literacy skills and knowledge in undergraduate nursing students: An integrative review

Margaret Purnell, Bernadette Royal, Lyndall Warton

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Undergraduate nursing students have the opportunity to develop information literacy skills while at university so they can work effectively in an increasingly information-intensive clinical environment. This can be achieved through learning how to effectively search for required information, critically evaluate it, apply and reference it. Librarians working in academic libraries can assist with this essential skill development through library instruction, delivery and support.

    Objectives: The aim of this integrative review was to undertake an analysis of the peer-reviewed research in the context of library instruction programs delivered in undergraduate nursing courses. A synthesis of the key themes was also undertaken.

    Methods: This paper takes the form of an integrative review. Four library databases were systematically searched for research articles investigating ‘library instruction’ within ‘undergraduate nursing’ courses. The search strategy was based on synonyms for these two concepts.

    Results: A total of 26 articles based on 25 studies were identified for review. Research was undertaken in a number of different countries with the most being in the United States of America (8). Total participants were 2820 nursing students. Sixteen of the studies were a quantitative approach, three were qualitative and six were mixed methods. A range of data collection methods were used that included surveys, interviews, focus groups and an observational study. One study was a randomised controlled trial and one used a mixed methods final year thesis analysis. The year level of participants varied with most being in the first year of their course (12 studies). Six studies were a mix of year levels. The four key inter-related themes identified were: collaboration, course-integration, linking to assessments, and confidence.

    Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest a positive relationship between library instruction and information literacy skill development. Sustained training and support across year levels provides the opportunity for positive student outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104585
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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