Mobile Learning Initiatives in Nursing Education

  • Sharon ReesEmail author
  • Clint Moloney
  • Helen Farley
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history


Mobile learning is a very exciting approach to learning that has the possibility of changing nursing education, providing learning to nurses when and where they need it and in a manner that will achieve positive learning outcomes. Coming from an apprenticeship model in the military, nurses have traditionally learned by seeing and then doing. Mobile learning through means such as YouTube and augmented reality offers the best of this traditional way of learning combined with time- and cost-efficient means of technology use and greater theoretical knowledge. Reaching nurses in rural and isolated communities is also possible through these means. This is achieved through the use of SMS and online learning that is able to be used at a time and place suitable for the nurse, enabling them to include learning within their lives in a way that suits them. Many isolated trials have occurred in nursing education over the years, starting with the use of PDAs, and although many have shown success, there is not a great deal of research that has been conducted in the use of mobile education in nursing. Considering this, research was conducted using a grounded theory approach that investigated nurse’s current use of mobile technology and their beliefs around mobile learning. The study also explored how and when nurses are undertaking continuing education, with the discovery of how they personally resource their learning. When looking at trials of mobile learning within nursing education, it is apparent from these trials and the study that nurses are ready for mobile learning and that mobile learning shows great potential as a method for education within the nursing profession.


Mobile learning Nursing education Continuing education 


  1. Abate, Karen S. 2013. The effect of podcast lectures on nursing students’ knowledge retention and application. Nursing Education Perspectives 34 (3): 182–185.Google Scholar
  2. Asabere, Nana Yaw. 2012. Towards a perspective of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education: Migrating from electronic learning (E-learning) to mobile learning (M-learning). International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research 2: 646–649.Google Scholar
  3. Billings, D.M. 2005. Guest editorial. From teaching to learning in a mobile, wireless world. Journal of Nursing Education 44 (8): 343.Google Scholar
  4. Bruni, N. 1997. The nurse educator as teacher: Exploring the construction of the “Reluctant Instructor”. Nursing Inquiry 4 (1): 34–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Callan, P., R. Miller, R. Sithole, M. Daggett, D. Altman, and D. O’Byrne. 2011. Mhealth education: Harnessing the mobile revolution to bridge the health education & training gap in developing countries. In Iheed report. Dublin.Google Scholar
  6. Cheon, Jongpil, Sangno Lee, Steven M. Crooks, and Jaeki Song. 2012. An investigation of mobile learning readiness in higher education based on the theory of planned behavior. Computers & Education 59 (3): 1054–1064.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chuang, Yeu-Hui, and Chiung-Wen Tsao. 2013. Enhancing nursing students’ medication knowledge: The effect of learning materials delivered by short message service. Computers & Education 61: 168–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clay, Collette A. 2011. Exploring the use of mobile technologies for the acquisition of clinical skills. Nurse Education Today 31 (6): 582–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clifton, A., and C. Mann. 2011. Can youtube enhance student nurses learning? Nurse Education Today 31 (4): 311–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cuddy, C. 2010. Mobile video for education and instruction. Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries 7 (1): 85–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Edge, Darren, Stephan Fitchett, Micheal Whitney, and James Landay. 2012. Memreflex: Adaptive flashcards for mobile microlearning.
  12. Gabbert, W.L. 2007. Beyond online: Enhancing caring and professional practice in nursing education. Minneapolis: Capella University.Google Scholar
  13. IBM. 2014. Say hello to Watson. Retrieved from 29 August 2014
  14. Johansson, Pauline, Göran Petersson, Britt-Inger Saveman, and Gunilla Nilsson. 2012. Experience of mobile devices in nursing practice. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research & Clinical Studies/Vård i Norden 32 (4): 50–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson, L., S. Adams, and M. Cummins. 2012. The NMC horizon report: 2012 higher education. Austin: The New Media Consortium.Google Scholar
  16. Jolley, J. 2007. Now and then. Always nurses. Paediatric Nursing 19 (7): 12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kazlauskas, Alanah, and Kathy Robinson. 2012. Podcasts are not for everyone. British Journal of Educational Technology 43 (2): 321–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kenny, R., J. Van Neste-Kenny, P. Burton, C. Park, and A. Qayyum. 2012. Using self-efficacy to assess readiness of nursing educators and students for mobile learning. The International Review of research in Open and Distance Learning, North America 13 (3): 277–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kidd, Tracy, Amanda Kenny, and Terri Meehan-Andrews. 2012. The experience of general nurses in rural Australian emergency departments. Nurse Education in Practice 12 (1): 11–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes, John Traxler, and John Pettit. 2007. Designed and user-generated activity in the mobile age. Journal of Learning Design 2 (1): 52–65 Scholar
  21. Lai, C.-Y., and C.C. Wu. 2012. Supporting nursing students’ critical thinking with a mobile web learning environment. Nurse Educator 37 (6): 235–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maher, C.A., F. Gale, and E.A. Cummings. 2017. Governing mobile technology use for continuing professional development in the Australian nursing profession. BMC Nursing 16: 17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maiden, Neil, Sonali D’Souza, Sara Jones, Lars Müller, Lucia Pannese, et al. 2013. Computing technologies for reflective, creative care of people with dementia. Communications of the ACM 56 (11): 60–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moloney, C.W. 2013. Behavioural intention and user acceptance of research evidence for Queensland nurses: Provision of solutions from the clinician [in English]. Nurse Education in Practice 13 (4): 310–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moloney, C.W., and L. Becarria. 2009. Perceived facilitators and inhibitors for the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) by nurses: A systematic review. JBI Library of Systematic Reviews 7 (33): 1431–1488.Google Scholar
  26. Neuman, L.H. 2006. Creating new futures in nursing education: Envisioning the evolution of e-nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives 27 (1): 12–15.Google Scholar
  27. Newman, Claire, Thomas Buckley, Sandra Dunn, and Andrew Cashin. 2009. Preferences for continuing education through existing electronic access for Australian nurse practitioners and its implication in prescribing potential. Collegian: Journal of the Royal College of Nursing Australia 16 (2): 79–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ortega, Luis De. Marcos, Roberto Barchino Plata, María Lourdes Jiménez Rodríguez, José Ramón Hilera González, José Javier Martínez Herráiz, José Antonio Gutiérrez De Mesa, José María Gutiérrez Martínez, and Salvador Otón Tortosa. 2011. Using m-learning on nursing courses to improve learning. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing 29 (5): 311–317.Google Scholar
  29. Robb, Meigan, and Teresa Shellenbarger. 2012. Using technology to promote mobile learning: Engaging students with cell phones in the classroom. Nurse Educator 37 (6): 258–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schmitt, Terri L., and Susan S. Sims-Giddens. 2012. Social media use in nursing education. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 17 (3): 1.Google Scholar
  31. Shippee, Micah, and Jared Keengwe. 2014. Mlearning: Anytime, anywhere learning transcending the boundaries of the educational box. Education and Information Technologies 19: 103–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith, C. 2014. New picture-sharing app for doctors, medical students raises privacy concerns. ABC News.Google Scholar
  33. Stewart, S. 2013. Social media for midwives – Work of the devil or best thing since sliced bread? Social Media, Education, Life-Long Learning, Midwifery. Accessed 21 Aug 2014.
  34. Terry, V.R., C. Moloney, L. Bowtell, and P.C. Terry. 2016. Online intravenous pump emulator: As effective as face-to-face simulation for training nursing students. Nurse Education Today 40: 198–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Turley, J.T. 1993. The use of artificial intelligence in nursing information systems. Informatics in Healthcare Australia.Google Scholar
  36. USQ. 2014. Bachelor of nursing program external. Queensland Australia: University of Southern Queensland.Google Scholar
  37. Walton, G., S. Childs, and E. Blenkinsopp. 2005. Using mobile technologies to give health students access to learning resources in the UK community setting. Health Information & Libraries Journal 22: 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Whitehead, T.D., and L. Lacey-Haun. 2008. Evolution of accreditation in continuing nursing education in America. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 39 (11): 493–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wu, P.-H., G.-J. Hwang, L.-H. Su, and Y.-M. Huang. 2012. A context-aware mobile learning system for supporting cognitive apprenticeships in nursing skills training. Educational Technology and Society 15 (1): 223–236.Google Scholar
  40. Yudkin, Roman. 2012. Thought leaders. Popularity of mobile devices brings risk. Health Management Technology 33 (4): 32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing and MidwiferyUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Digital Life LabUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jun Hu
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Information SciencesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations