Computer Competency: A 7-Year Study to Identify Gaps in Student Computer Skills

  •  George F. Shuster    
  •  Mona Pearl    


Computer competency is crucial to student success in higher education. Assessment of student knowledge related to specific computer competencies can provide faculty with important information about the strengths and weaknesses of their students’ computer competency skills. The purpose of this study was to identify the competency level of two groups of nursing students (registered nurses [RNs; n = 236] and traditional nursing students [n = 407]) over a 7-year period to assess which computer competencies need the most support and to determine how computer competencies varied with successive groups of students. Results indicated that the competency of students increased with each successive group of students. Results also showed that there were significant differences in computer competency levels between the RN and traditional student groups. Competency varied across technological functions, with students having the lowest competency levels in the Data Inquiry competency dimension.

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