From the ground up: Information needs of nurses in a rural public health department in Oregon

Anne M. Turner, Zoe Stavri, Debra Revere, Rita Altamore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: The research identified and assessed information needs and resources of public health nurses in a local health department. Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with seventeen public health nurses at a local health department in rural Oregon. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a constant comparative method to assess the information nurses sought and used in their work. Results: Public health nurses performed a wide variety of roles and associated tasks. Major themes that emerged from analyses of interview transcripts included: (1) differences in information needs depending on position and role; (2) colleagues as the most efficient and trusted source of information; (3) limitations of existing knowledge-based resources; (4) need for up-to-date and pertinent information; and (5) need for personal computers, basic communications software, and expanded Internet access. Conclusions: Lack of Internet access is a significant barrier to use of information resources, and information tools tailored to meet the needs diverse public health nursing roles and facilitate information sharing among colleagues are needed. Librarians and informaticians can assist by addressing these needs and improving the organization of content and interface design for commonly used websites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Medical Library Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Health Informatics


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