PRNU 111 Students work with Dana Librarian Nancy Bianchi
For the past two weeks, 89 nursing students in PRNU 111, Research in Nursing, have worked with six Dana librarians to hone their research skills. PRNU 111 is a required research class in the nursing major. Twenty-four groups of 3-4 students conduct comprehensive searches in CINAHL for a wide range of clinical questions, from the “impact of kangaroo care” to “alarm fatigue.” Librarians meet with each group to fine-tune their research questions, suggest research strategies, and evaluate the results. Each student in the group then selects one article and analyzes it to determine how well the study was designed, and if the conclusions can be applied to similar situations. The project ends with each group giving a presentation about their findings to the rest of the class.
Gary Atwood, Education Coordinator at Dana, has been embedded in this nursing class since 2013, but library involvement in the class goes back to 2003. The role of the Library has evolved from one library lecture during class time, to multiple class visits from the Nursing Librarian plus a small group session with one of 6 Dana librarians.
Marcia Bosek, the course faculty member, explains the impact. “The reference librarians use the students’ initial search strategy to individualize their approach to meet the students where they are in the process. Students comment on how ‘our librarian’ helped them search more efficiently and/or taught them new databases. At the end of their session with their designated reference librarian, the nursing students have identified appropriate research articles, have refined their clinical question as necessary, and are ready to complete their project. When presenting their EBP project, student groups frequently comment: ‘Our librarian was THE BEST’ or other expressions of praise and appreciation.”
The nursing students aren’t the only ones full of praise. Gary and all librarians who work on this project agree it is a great way to learn more about the nursing curriculum, dive deep into nursing research, and connect with nursing students. Frequently librarians meet students they end up working with again and again over the course of the next few years. Professor Bosek agrees that everyone gets something out of the experience. “Each time Gary works with my students, I learn something new too.”