Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a crucial aspect of nursing that is focused on improving patient outcomes. It involves using the best available evidence, combined with clinical expertise and patient preferences, to make decisions about patient care (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). As a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prepared nurse, it is essential to integrate EBP into one’s work environment to ensure the highest quality of care for patients.
There are two primary ways in which a nurse can incorporate EBP into their work environment. First, as a clinical nurse leader, it is important to actively promote and engage in EBP. This role involves working with policies, workflows, and implementing new practices. By consistently asking the question “What is best practice?” and involving other nurses in seeking EBP research, clinical nurse leaders support the integration of EBP into routine practice (Stapleton, 2019). Access to resources such as UpToDate, embedded within the electronic medical record, can provide quick access to the latest EBP research, making it easier for nurses to stay informed and implement evidence-based care.
However, there are obstacles that may hinder the integration of EBP into the work environment. One major barrier is the lack of time to read and implement new research. Reading and staying up-to-date with EBP research can be time-consuming, and nurses may find it challenging to allocate time for this amidst other responsibilities. One possible solution to overcome this barrier is to allocate a specific number of hours each month for BSN staff to dedicate to EBP (Stapleton, 2019). This dedicated time can be used for reviewing research, evaluating current practices, and implementing evidence-based interventions. Additionally, forming EBP teams can be a valuable strategy, as these teams can focus solely on EBP projects relevant to their practice area. By designating specific time for EBP pursuits, nurses can overcome the time constraint and make progress in integrating evidence-based care into their workflow.
Another obstacle to implementing EBP is a lack of support from other staff. It is crucial to have a supportive culture within the work environment that values EBP and encourages its implementation (Stapleton, 2019). EBP teams can serve as a source of support and collaboration, as team members can share knowledge, resources, and experiences related to EBP. In some healthcare facilities, making EBP committees a requirement for all nursing staff can help create a culture that upholds the value of EBP. By involving all staff members in EBP initiatives, the commitment to evidence-based care can be strengthened, and support for EBP can become embedded within the organizational culture.
In conclusion, integrating EBP into the work environment is essential for BSN prepared nurses. As a clinical nurse leader, it is crucial to exemplify a culture of learning and to support EBP initiatives. Allocating dedicated time for EBP, either through individual hours or through EBP teams, can address the barrier of limited time. Additionally, creating a supportive culture that values and prioritizes EBP can overcome obstacles related to lack of support. By continuously seeking better practices for patient care and utilizing the best available evidence, nurses can contribute to improved patient outcomes and enhance the quality of care provided.
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Stapleton, M. (2019). Re: Topic 10 DQ 2 [Online discussion post]. Retrieved from https://www.snhu.edu/student-experience/online-student-experience/learn-with-student-voices/re-topic-10-dq-2