George McNally completed his master’s degree in advanced nursing from the University of Auckland. He is a lecturer of anatomy and physiology at the school of nursing Northtec Whangarei New Zealand    


Smartphones, tablets and the adjunct applications (apps) that operate on them are becoming a part ofeveryday life for the New Zealand population. Student nurses have embraced this technology, but littleis known internationally or in New Zealand about the way student nurses may apply personal devicesto their education process. The perceptions of New Zealand nurse managers, toward these personalreferencing technologies, could not be located. Using a qualitative descriptive methodology, semistructured interviews were conducted with New Zealand student nurses (n=13), and nurse managers(n=5) about their perceptions of use of personal smartphones, tablets and applications as an educational tool in clinical settings. A thematic analysis was conducted on the resulting text. Student nurses wanted to use personal smartphones to support clinical decisions. Nurse managers perceived the use of personal smartphones as unprofessional, and do not trust younger cohorts of student nurses to act ethically when using a personal smartphone. This research supports historical research findings about the perceived usefulness of hand held referencing to augment clinical decisions. However, due to the perceptions held by nurse mangers surrounding professionalism, as well as financial considerations, the application of personal smartphones to clinical practice may remain problematic.