Information literacy is the ability to recognize when one needs information, identify the nature of the information needed, know where to look for the information, evaluating the information, and effectively using the information to address a given issue (Klusek and Bornstein). Information literacy is important for the nurses because like every other profession, healthcare has also been impacted by the technological advances and globalization. Healthcare institutions are increasingly focusing on operating efficiencies and looking for knowledge workers to stay ahead of the competition.
One information literacy skills I will need to succeed as a nurse will be critical thinking (Klusek and Bornstein). Many healthcare records usually used by nurses are not in digital format. This allows nurses to not only quickly and easily access information but also analyze it in ways that would have been cost or time prohibitive before. But this easy access to information can also result in information overload. Effective critical thinking skills will allow me to distinguish relevant information from irrelevant information and become more efficient at my job. Critical thinking skills will also allow me to see the patterns over time that others may miss and, thus, could open management leadership opportunities in the long term.
Critical thinking skills are important to become skilled at information literacy and can be a source of competitive advantage in a nursing career. The management are increasingly involving the subordinates in the decision making processes and nurses who have strong critical skills can make valuable contributions towards improving the overall healthcare quality provided at the organization.
Klusek, Louise and Jerry Bornstein. “Information Literacy Skills for Business Careers: Matching Skills to the Workplace.” Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship 2006: 3-21.