Evidence-Based Practice: Are we getting there?

Lindsey Bird*

Evidence-Based Practice: Are we getting there?

More than research utilization, EBP is a clinical problem-solving process that begins with a spirit of inquiry. It continues with appropriately formatting a clinical question, allowing a productive literature search. Finally, the clinician evaluates the outcome and, when appropriate, disseminates the findings. EBP empowers nurses to act as agents of change by giving them the tools to offer the highest-quality patient outcomes. Nursing baccalaureate and residency programs have made substantial progress in addressing the IOM’s call for EBP-competent clinicians by integrating EBP into their curriculums.

Novice nurses, however, are adjusting to a new practice setting and lack context for the final steps of the EBP process. The expert in this area is the experienced nurse, but thus far they have not been
targeted as rigorously as graduate nurses in use and relevancy of EBP. Recent surveys highlight
this deficit, indicating that bedside nurses are still not consistently utilizing EBP.

The host of new practices in a new practice setting can overwhelm a novice nurse and may temper their enthusiasm for EBP. To carry their skill set to the point of care, novice nurses need reinforcement and guidance in reconciling theory and implementation of EBP. Practicing nurses the key facilitators, but they need both belief in the value of EBP and the skills to engage in the process. If these factors remain unaddressed, there is risk for losing the investment made in EBP-competent graduate nurses.

Pediatr Neonatal Nurs Open J. 2016; 2(3): e11-e12. doi: 10.17140/PNNOJ-2-e006