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Evidence Based Practice Overview


Evidence-based practice (EBP) entails the application of the best clinical facts in order to make informed decisions about care delivery. According to Newhouse and Spring (2010), EBP entails the selection of interventions by the use of available scientific evidence in order to ensure that patients receive the best care. The importance of EBP has been on the increase in delivery of quality health care and promotion of safety of patients (Stevens, 2013). Despite the importance of EBP in care delivery, its implementation into the nursing practice has encountered many barriers. In order to ensure that EBP is expanded in the nursing care delivery, there is the need to put up realistic and practical structures. Thus, this paper explores the different ways nurses can expand the use of EBP in care delivery.

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Expansion of EBP

Nurses play a critical role in the provision of health care. This mandates the nurses to apply the best practices in order to ensure that care of patients is provided in an integrated manner (Newhouse & Spring, 2010). EBP encompasses different types of evidence that should be used in order to enhance its applicability. According to Stevens (2013), strategies should be put in place to encourage a work climate that promotes the advancement of EBP in the care delivery. The strategies include the assessment of the barriers to EBP, questioning of current clinical practices and the correction of the misconceptions about the EBP goals and processes.

Assessment of Barriers to EBP

In the clinical practice, there are barriers that prevent Nurses from using EBP. For instance, nurses and other clinicians lack skills and information resources to understand the EBP. For example, Pravikoff, Tanner and Pierce (2005) carried out a qualitative study of 760 nurses in the United States. The study established that 54% of the nurses were unfamiliar with EBP. Pravikoff et al. (2005) also identified negative beliefs, attitudes and values to be the major factors limiting the expansion of EBP practices in the nursing care delivery. Further, the study found that lack of awareness of EBP, inadequate resources and skills to limit the nurses from locating the necessary evidence for the care delivery. In line with the findings, Stevens (2013) noted that there should be a comprehensive assessment of barriers in order to identify systematic behaviors, knowledge and beliefs that hinder the use of EBP. The assessment of barriers to EBP forms the basis of creating awareness of the need for nurses to adopt EBP in the delivery of care.

Correction of Misconceptions about EBP Goals and Processes

Misconceptions about EBP have hindered the expansion of EBP in the delivery of care. According to Newhouse and Spring (2010), nurses cite the lack of time as one of the hindrances to the use of EBP. EBP is based reflection of practice, identifying the best evidence, evaluation and finally application of evidence. As a result, there are complaints among nurses that in the busy operating setting EBP adds to work burden. These lead to the misconception that EBP is not feasible in the busy clinical settings. Thus, in order to expand the use of EBP, nurses should work as teams. For example, nurses with a common interest of advancing quality health care can form collaborative groups that enhance the culture of EBP in the workplaces. The teams will help in addressing the common misconceptions and hence enhance adoption of evidence-based solutions.

Questioning of Current Clinical Practices

Nurses have a perception that in a clinical setting, they do not have the authority to change the care process. This has been one of the greatnesses barriers on ways nurses can expand the use of EBP in the provision of care. For instance, a Glacken and Chaney (2005) conducted a study to investigate barriers to the use of EBP. The study incorporated 169 registered nurses. The study established that 68% of the nurses pointed to the lack of authority in the change of patient care process. The lack of authority can be solved by systematic changes in order to promote inclusion of nurses in decision-making processes. Nurses are the only healthcare professionals who spent a lot of time with patients. Thus, they should lobby for changes by raising questions about the current clinical practices that limit them from using EBP. According to Newhouse and Spring (2010), questioning of current clinical practices stimulate critical thinking about the issues that prevent the EBP. This will facilitate strategy change and hence create an environment for routine implementation of EBP.


In the attempt to ensure the delivery of quality health care, studies have shown that evidence-based practice plays a critical role. Bearing in mind that nurses play an integral role in the delivery of care, there is the need to put in place strategies that expand the use of EBP. The strategies include the assessment of barriers to EBP, correction of misconception about EBP and questioning of clinical practices that do not promote the use of EBP. The strategies emphasize the creation of clinical work environments that promote understanding and translation of evidence to practice.


Glacken, M., & Chaney, D. (2004). Perceived barriers and facilitators to implementing research findings in the Irish practice setting. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13(1), 731-740.

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Newhouse, R., & Spring, B. (2010). Interdisciplinary evidence-based practice: Moving from silos to synergy. Nursing Outlook, 58(6), 309-317.

Pravikoff, D., Tanner, A., & Pierce, T. (2005). Readiness of U.S. nurses for evidence- based practice. American Journal of Nursing, 105(9), 40-51.

Stevens, K. (2013). The impact of evidence-based practice in nursing and the next big ideas. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 8(2), 1-4.

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