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Nurse Educ Pract. 2013 Sep;13(5):437-41. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

A survey of student nurses' and midwives' experiences of learning to use electronic health record systems in practice.

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  • 1Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, UK.



The study aimed to investigate student nurses' and midwives' experiences of learning to use electronic health records (EHR) in practice.


Good record keeping and documentation are integral to nursing and midwifery practice. As EHRs become more widespread, student nurses and midwives need opportunities to access and learn how to use them in practice.


A survey of nursing and midwifery students was conducted using questionnaires (n = 215) and three focus groups: one with midwifery students (n = 6); one with mental health nursing students (n = 5) and one with adult nursing students (n = 6). The University research ethics committee approved the study. The questionnaire data were analysed using SPSS v19. The focus group data were analysed thematically following transcription.


The results presented relate to two themes: 1) Preparation for using EHRs and skills development; 2) Access to EHRs and involvement. Students had variable experiences in relation to opportunities to access and use EHRs, training on EHR systems used in practice and guidance from mentors. Some mentors had concerns about students' legitimacy to access EHRs and verification of students' EHR entries was a challenging issue in some areas.


To promote opportunities for students to develop competence in using EHRs in practice, training on EHR systems in use, and clear processes for authorised access, are needed. Following the survey, the University and practice partners collaboratively established formalised EHR training for students with clear governance procedures for access and use.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Competence; Electronic health records; Practice learning; Student nurses and midwives

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