Beliefs and use of evidence-based practice by nurses: a needs assessment at a hospital in south central Montana

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Nurses consistent use of evidence-based practice (EBP) will improve healthcare quality, improve patient outcomes, and decrease healthcare costs. Nurses constitute the largest group of healthcare providers and are in direct contact with patients, thus have an opportunity to make the largest impact using EBP. Despite EBP being accepted as the best method of providing care, many nurses may not be fully implementing it in daily clinical practice. The purpose of this project was to investigate nurses' beliefs about the readiness for and organizational culture for evidence-based practice, attitudes and beliefs about evidence-based practice, and nurses' implementation of evidence-based-practice at this organization. This was done by asking the following questions: What are nurses' current individual beliefs and attitudes about EBP at this organization? What are nurses' current levels of self-reported implementation of EBP at this organization? What are nurses' perceptions of organizational and cultural readiness for EBP at this organization? This project used a cross-sectional, descriptive design. A 75-question survey was sent via email in a SurveyMonkey to a convenience sample of 485 nurses. Nurses were asked demographic and professional characteristic questions, three open-end questions about EBP and to respond to three surveys: (1) The Organizational Culture & Readiness for System-Wide Integration of Evidence-Based Practice scale (2) The Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs scale (3) the Evidence-Based Practice Implementation scale. The findings were that nurses had positive attitudes and beliefs about evidence-based practice but reported low levels of implementation behaviors. Nurses report that they need more time, education and training, and resources to increase implementation of evidence-based practice. Interventions recommended to increase EBP implementation include encouraging more nurses to participate in the clinical ladder program, using mentors to assist and encourage use of EBP, and to provide more training and education opportunities for nurses.




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