Evidence-based practice might be the new kid on the block in the nursing world research courses were first required in baccalaureate programs in 1976 but the practice of integrating research into bedside care is more than a passing trend. EBP has the potential to make long-lasting improvements in patient care and outcomes as well as RNs work environment.
Yet despite all its benefits, successful implementation of EBP can be tricky, especially for RNs working at smaller facilities or in non-acute care settings like home care.
To help nurses in all settings reap the benefits of EBP, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing hosted The Power of Evidence-Based Practice conference May 15. Alyce A. Schultz, RN, PhD, FAAN, keynote speaker at the event, stressed the importance curiosity plays in changing nursing practice.
In addition to Schultz, the conference hosted a panel discussion and EBP PowerPoint and poster presentations.UIC clinical instructor Osedebamen Omoike, RN, MS, MBA, makes a point during her presentation to nurses at the event.
How many of you ever irrigated a Foley catheter every four hours or stripped a chest tube? Did you ever wonder why you were doing that? she asked.
Once the questions have been asked, nurses need to collect data on a topic by using existing sources or by creating their own research projects. Medical librarians, Web sites like pubmed.gov and clinicaltrials.gov, and nursing organizations such as Sigma Theta Tau can be great help in finding EBP data. And when implementing a change in nursing practice, infrastructure and support are key to the projects success.
We often spend a lot of time starting new things but dont worry enough about sustaining them, said Schultz, owner and consultant at EBP Concepts, Alyce A. Schultz & Associates.
Jennifer Thew is National Nurse Editor for Nursing Spectrum.