Integrating nursing informatics into undergraduate nursing education in Africa: a scoping review

Harerimana, A., Wicking, K., Biedermann, N., and Yates, K. (2021) Integrating nursing informatics into undergraduate nursing education in Africa: a scoping review. International Nursing Review, 68 (3). pp. 420-433.

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Background: Information and communication technologies have become omnipresent in healthcare systems globally, and since nurses comprise the majority of the health sector workforce, they are expected to be adequately skilled to work in a technology-mediated environment. Integrating nursing informatics into undergraduate nursing education is a cornerstone to nursing education and practice in Africa.

Aim: This scoping review aimed to evidence the integration of nursing informatics into undergraduate nursing education in Africa.

Methods: A scoping review of the literature used electronic databases including CINAHL Plus databases; EmCare; MEDLINE Ovid; Scopus; ERIC ProQuest; Web of Science; Google; and Google Scholar to locate papers specific to the African context. From a total of 8723 articles, 19 were selected for critique and synthesis.

Results: Selected studies indicated that nursing students used several information and communication technologies tools primarily for academic purposes, and rarely for clinical practice. In Africa, the challenges for teaching informatics in nursing education included: limited information and communication technologies skills among faculty and students; poor teaching strategies; and a lack of standardization of nursing informatics competencies. Successful integration of nursing informatics into undergraduate nursing education in African countries depends on restructuring nursing informatics content and teaching strategies, capacity building of the faculty and students in information and communication technologies, political commitment, and collaborative partnership.

Conclusion: Nursing informatics is scarce in undergraduate nursing education in Africa due to the implementation and adoption challenges. Responding to these challenges requires a multi-sectoral approach in the revision of undergraduate nursing curricula.

Implication for nursing education, practice, policy and research: This study highlights the importance of nursing informatics in undergraduate nursing education, with its challenges and success. Nursing education policies should support the development of well-standardized nursing informatics content and appropriate teaching strategies to deliver it. Further research is needed to establish which aspects of nursing informatics are integrated into undergraduate nursing education and nursing practice, implementation process, challenges and possible solutions. Collaborative partnerships are vital to developing nursing informatics policies to better prepare graduate nurses for the African healthcare workforce in the digital era.

Item ID: 64380
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-7657
Keywords: Africa, Communication Technologies, Curriculum, Information Technologies, Nursing Informatics, Nursing Education, Systematic Review, Undergraduate
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship
Projects and Grants: JCU Post-graduate Scholarship
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 23:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 30%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 70%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 35%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology @ 35%
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