Exploring Nursing Students' Smartphone Use in the Clinical Setting

Exploring Nursing Students' Smartphone Use in the Clinical Setting

Identification: MSNJ1908
Issue: May-June 2019
Volume: Vol. 28/No. 3
Credits (Post Test and/or Evaluation Required)
Available until 06/30/2021
  • 1.40 - CH

Non-member: $20.00


The usability of smartphones in the clinical setting was explored. While nurse distraction and professionalism are areas of caution, findings suggest smartphones are useful in the clinical setting and beyond, aiding in decision-making and providing additional features desired by users via a multitude of applications.

Learning Outcome:
After completing this learning activity, the learner will be able to contrast how the use of smartphones by student nurses in clinical settings may enhance their education experience with the potential risks of violating patient privacy.

Learning Engagement Activity:

The ANA and the NCSBN mutually endorse each organization's guidelines for upholding professional boundaries in a social networking environment. Review the scenarios presented in the NCSBN white paper "A Nurse's Guide to the Use of Social Media" at https://www.ncsbn.org/Social_M... to understand the potential risks with use of social media in the clinical setting.

Contact hours available until 6/30/2021.

Requirements for Successful Completion:

Complete the learning activity in its entirety and complete the online CNE evaluation.

Authors Conflict of Interest Disclosure:

The author(s), editor, editorial board, content reviewers, and education director reported no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this continuing nursing education article.

Commercial Support and Sponsorship:

No commercial support or sponsorship declared.

Accreditation Information:
This educational activity is jointly provided by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. and the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).

Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider number CEP 5387. Licensees in the state of California must retain this certificate for four years after the CNE activity is completed.

This article was reviewed and formatted for contact hour credit by Michelle Boyd, MSN, RN, AMSN Education Director.


Credits Available

Expired On: Jun 30, 2021

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Kelly Raether
7/11/19 9:57 pm

Great article, I teach in a clinical setting so I will be implementing several things from this article into the way that I teach clinical.

Norrisjean Schaal
8/21/19 5:50 pm

As a clinical instructor, I agree that inappropriate smartphone behaviour may infiltrate the professional setting, without the establishment of rules related to its use. However, there is an enormous benefit related to having immediate access to evidence-based research while in the work setting. Thank you for this timely article.

Elizabeth Dickey
9/11/19 2:50 pm

Technology is essential in improved patient outcomes. One must also be aware of the potential of violating patient rights. Great article.

Monica Lucatero
9/12/19 6:42 am

Great article, I think it's beneficial at times, and yes smartphones are a distraction.

Susan Chernay
9/29/19 12:55 pm

This article and the associated research are current and applicable to the current educational environment. As an instructor within a hospital based diploma nursing program, the students comply with the rules the nursing staff follow. Currently, mobile devices are not permitted to used related to patient information or research. The desk top and lap top computers which are ample for staff use, provide the students with all educational access needed. It will be interesting to see how this discussion moves forward.

Sandra LaPointe
10/6/19 6:13 pm

The hospital where I currently work is going live with smartphone use as the communication tool among the care team. It will be interesting to see over a period of time, patients' perspective on this. Technology is essential in today's world, but I would want to be assured that those using it for references (pharmacology etc) are using reputable sites.

Danielle Edwards
12/12/19 11:57 am

I appreciate the thoughtfulness on cell phone use in the clinical setting. I would say that most of the time when I find students on their phone it is related to the clinical experience. However, there is a potential risk for students using their phones incorrectly.

Kathy Gregg
5/16/20 12:46 pm

As a charge nurse on a busy med surg floor I do not let staff carry their cell phones on them. I do not keep mine on me either as it can be very distracting and result in sloppy patient care, which can result in mistakes that can be life threatening. There is a time and place for phones, and taking care of sick patients is not the place.

Anal Rathod
9/1/20 4:17 pm

Excellent article. I agree with the smartphones distraction and inappropriate behavior can jeopardize patient safety.

Brenda Williams
12/4/20 4:51 pm

I understand the changing times, but I still believe there is a time and place for smart phones. The excuse that it is being used to research something is sometimes just that, an excuse. In my experience I have seen too many staff members sitting on their phones when call lights need answered and patients are needing their assistance.

Judith Widdoss
5/4/21 12:10 pm

Good article. Covers HIPPA. I wonder about infection control?

Marta Paul
5/7/21 2:35 pm

Yes, I agree smartphones can be a great aid with learning and understanding. I believe that it does help many nursing students. However, when it comes to direct patient care, I use the work computer instead of my smartphone. I think about my patients' view and trust. I believe that patients would more likely view a nurse on a smartphone as being inattentive, distracted, or not using it appropriately. It would further impact the nurse-patient trust relationship. Overall, it's a good article, especially as technology is integrated more and more in acute care settings.