From the staff development bookshelf: Using mobile devices in nursing staff development

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, March 11, 2011

Mobile devices and mobile platforms are rapidly changing and expanding due to ever-developing technology. Cell phones used to have only basic capabilities, but now have multiple applications, or "apps." Smartphones, such as the iPhone™, Blackberry®, and Android™ have become increasingly popular for personal use and are gaining acceptance in hospital settings as pager technology becomes outdated.

Apps have already been developed and are usable for drug references and calculations, as well as "flashcards" for anatomy, neuroscience, medical terminology, etc. Mobile apps can be great adjuncts to the learning process while employing technology many people have already embraced.

Benefits: By nature, the devices are mobile and go anywhere the user goes. Learning can take place anywhere. References for drugs, diseases, etc., are easily accessible via the device.

Challenges: Not everyone is comfortable using mobile devices and they can be viewed as a nuisance by some.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Innovation in Nursing Staff Development: Teaching Strategies to Enhance Learner Outcomes by Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN; Mary E. Holtschneider, RN-BC, BSN, MPA, NREMT-P; and Linda L. Puetz, BA, BSN, RN, Med.

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