This paper was published in Nurse Education Today June 1997. 17, 3 pp 178-183


This paper sets out the history of computer networking and its use in nursing and healthcare education, and places this in its wider historical and social context. The increasing availability and use of computer networks and the Internet are producing a changing climate in education as well as healthcare. Moves away from traditional face to face teaching within a campus institution to widely distributed interactive multimedia learning will affect the roles of students and teachers.

The use of electronic mail, mailing lists and the World Wide Web are specifically considered, along with changes to library and information management skills, research methods, journal publication and the like. Issues about the quality, as well as quantity, of information available, are considered. As more and more organisations and institutions begin to use electronic communication methods, it becomes an increasingly important part of the curriculum at all levels, and may lead to fundamental changes in geographical and professional boundaries.

A glossary of terms is provided for those not familiar with the technology along with the contact details for mailing lists and World Wide Web pages mentioned.

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last updated: 3.9.03