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Nursing Research Guide

Guidance for Nurses and Allied Health Researchers

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Nursing

Research skill development and information literacy instruction are two of the ways OC Library Faculty can help support your students to success. You can request tour of the library for your class or schedule a brief introduction to library services if you just want to make sure students are aware of what the libraries offer. We can also tailor instruction to a specific assignment.

Use the Library Instruction Request form or email librarians@olympic.edu to request instruction!

Our nursing program support is informed by the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Nursing below.

Standard One

"The information literate nurse determines the nature and extent of the information needed."

The information literate nurse:

  1. Defines and articulates the need for information.
  2. Identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
  3. Has a working knowledge of the literature in nursing related fields and how it is produced.
  4. Considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.
Standard Two

"The information literate nurse accesses needed information effectively and efficiently."

The information literate nurse:

  1. Selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.
  2. Constructs and implements efficient and effectively-designed search strategies.
  3. Retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.
  4. Refines the search strategy if necessary.
  5. Extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.
Standard Three

"The information literate nurse critically evaluates the procured information and its sources, and as a result, decides whether or not to modify the initial query and/or seek additional sources and whether to develop a new research process."

The information literate nurse:

  1. Summarizes the main ideas to be extracted from the information gathered.
  2. Selects information by articulating and applying criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.
  3. Synthesizes main ideas to construct new concepts.
  4. Compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other unique characteristics of the information.
  5. Validates understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals, subject-area experts, and/or practitioners.
  6. Determines whether the initial query should be revised.
  7. Evaluates the procured information and the entire process.
Standard Four

"The information literate nurse, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose."

The information literate nurse:

  1. Applies new and prior information to the planning and creation of a particular product.
  2. Revises the development process for the product.
  3. Communicates the product effectively to others.
Standard Five

"The information literate nurse understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally."

The information literate nurse:

  1. Understands many of the ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.
  2. Follows laws, regulations, institutional policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information resources.
  3. Acknowledges the use of information sources in communicating the product or performance.


From the Association of College & Research Libraries, a Division of the ALA (American Library Association).

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