Nicoll, L.H. 1998
Nurses' Guide to the Internet 2nd Ed.

Book & software review by Rod Ward
This review appeared in the CTI Nursing & Midwifery newsletter 4(4) p6

The second edition of this book by Leslie Nicoll (the editor of computers in nursing), tries to take the nurse or student nurse on a journey onto the internet, to find and use some of the key resources available. The travel guide approach is taken explicitly and generally works.

A non-techie approach, and clear explanation makes this book a useful asset for any nurse setting out to explore what the internet has to offer

The book is divided into 3 parts;

Part 1 gives an "Introduction and overview of Internet travel" and is divided into 4 chapters. These help guide the novice to an understanding of what the Internet is, how to connect and use, and some of the terminology, which it helps to understand. Different methods of connection are considered along with advantages and disadvantages of Internet Service providers. Domain name conventions and smileys are detailed along with a more general glossary of terms.

In chapter 3 some history of the Internet is given, to help the reader understand where we are today, and give a glimpse of where we may be going in the near future. Email, remote login, telnet, ftp and http are clearly explained, along with the World Wide Web and gopher searches, with this "how to" section completed by introductions to listservs and Usenet news groups. A realistic view of what to expect and how to develop your skills is generally realistic on today's net.

Chapter 4 is a clear introduction to parts 2 and 3 of the book and how to use them.

Part 2

Contains an index of web sites, mailing lists and a few other resources relevant to the nurse. These are divided into categories, by areas of specialism, and particular needs. The 500 + resources listed is a good introduction to what is "out their" for a nurse, however it does have a largely North American bias, with few sites from Europe, Australia etc. even mentioned. For example all of the Schools of Nursing listed are from the US or Canada.

Part 3

This part of the book will be of use not only to novice nurse exploring the net but to more experienced users, providing a short description of each site or mailing list, with details of how to access it or subscribe.

The resources without their descriptions listed in the book are reproduced on floppy disk. This is an .htm file so opens within your web browser and allows "one click" connection to the resources concerned if you have an Internet connection open. Which seems to work well, but as with anything about the net it is out of date before it can be published on paper or floppy disk.


This is as useful a guide to nursing resources on the Internet for nurses as you can get on paper and disc. This second edition has been updated to take account of changes since 1997 when the first edition was published, I wonder whether another edition will be needed in 2000 ?

The first part of the book will be most useful to novices, the index and directory will be useful to anyone who is interested in saving themselves time before finding some of the wide range of resources available.

Published by Lippincott-Raven
ISBN 0-7817-1435-4

This book is available from Amazon

as is a more recent edition.

I can be contacted

Page Created: 30.3.99

Last Updated: 30.10.05