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PDAs now used in HU nursing classrooms

Erin Lessing, junior nursing student at Huntington UniversityHUNTINGTON, Ind. Nursing is a fast-paced field. Nurses are expected to explain and to understand procedures and drug side effects in an instant. This year, PDAs are helping Huntington University nursing students stay ahead of the curve.

Beginning this fall, the nursing department required that all incoming juniors purchase a PDA, such as an iPod Touch or a Blackberry, for use in the classroom as well as clinicals later this year.

"It's exciting as a nurse because having a good reference at your fingertips is wonderful," said Diana Shenefield, instructor of nursing. "Mostly, it's to get them the most up-to-date information because it is ever changing."

This year's junior class 18 students are the first to use the PDAs, and so far, they are adjusting quite well.

"It's been really hard, but at the same time, it has been useful. I use mine every day," said Erin Lessing, a junior nursing student and Fort Wayne, Ind., native. "It's really quick. You don't have to look it up in a book. It's right there."

The students right now are utilizing many of the hundreds of nursing "apps" available through iTunes and other services, but they soon hope to transition to iPads where eReaders would be available to them.

"We're getting the students used to it in school because in the field these are the tools that they are using," Shenefield said.