An investigation of information needs and information seeking behaviour of nursing and clinical students in an academic healthcare institution.

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Although the concept of information-seeking behaviour has evolved significantly among professionals, it is unclear how much the nursing profession has been affected by these changes. Examining information seeking behavior for the nursing profession is significant as nurses need to use the most current information to meet clinical and educational needs Besides, information seeking is one of the steps of embracing evidence-based practice which has been identified as one of the core competencies needed for the health care professionals in the 21st century. Medical and healthcare literature is growing exponentially, and healthcare professionals, including nurses, need to possess basic literature searching skills to retrieve information for clinical decision making. Nursing and clinical professionals spend considerable time and effort providing healthcare and medical treatment to patients. Thus, they need to use latest medical knowledge to support their healthcare practice as well as provide necessary information to patients and their families. Many nursing students find it convenient to obtain information from sources that are easily accessible and reliable. Due to the sensitivity of the nursing profession, many nursing students prefer to seek for information from health care providers such as physicians and colleagues in the profession. This study sought to establish the information sources used by nursing and clinical students at Aga Khan University and, determine how the students access the required information. Further, the study analyzed whether the existing information sources in the library meet the student’s needs. The study also sought to examine the challenges that nursing and clinical students experience in accessing and acquiring information. This study was anchored on Wilson’s Information Behavior Model (1999). Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used. The importance of using the quantitative approach was that it provided the researchers with a subjective approach to a wider phenomenon. On the other hand, the qualitative approach was used for an indepth analysis that gave enhanced the researchers to explore how and why information seeking happened in a particular way. The study found that nursing and clinical students visit the library mostly to search for online electronic-resources, journals and textbooks. However, unavailability of some materials imply that the information needs of the students are not fully met. The library should endeavor to provide all the information materials that the students need and collaborate with the students to understand their information needs. This study revealed that nursing and clinical students have varied searching skills. The study determined that majority of the nursing students used the keyword search strategy, subject search strategy, title search strategy and author search

Publication (Name of Journal)

Library Philosophy and Practice