Both the Internet and social media have become important tools that patients and health professionals, including health professional students, use to obtain information and support their decision-making surrounding health care. Students in the health sciences require increased competence to select, appraise, and use online sources to adequately educate and support patients and advocate for patient needs and best practices. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if second year nursing students have the ability to critically identify and evaluate the quality of online health information through comparisons between student and expert assessments of selected online health information postings using an adapted Trust in Online Health Information scale. Interviews with experts provided understanding of how experts applied the selected criteria and what experts recommend for implementing nursing informatics literacy in curriculums. The difference between student and expert assessments of the quality of the online information is on average close to 40%. Themes from the interviews highlighted several possible factors that may influence informatics competency levels in students, specifically regarding the critical appraisal of the quality of online health information.
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