Nursing practices are based on nursing theories, evidence and knowledge gathered from other fields to guide professional nursing care. Nurses, therefore, are required to integrate emerging evidence from nursing and other fields into their practice.
Evidence-based nursing practice requires nurses to integrate new findings and review study implications within the caring context. In this process, nurses must only consider best evidence and practices from nursing studies, clinical expertise, patient care information, and values.
Healthcare agencies and other stakeholders have recognized the importance of evidence-based nursing practice because studies have consistently demonstrated improved patient outcomes when nurses incorporate the best evidence into practice (Makic, Martin, Burns, Philbrick, & Rauen, 2013).
Despite the importance and widespread awareness of the importance of integrating best evidence into nursing practice, sustained use of evidence has been a challenge among nurses. Integration of evidence and best practices into nursing care is inconsistent. Studies have identified some potential barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practice. Specifically, the need to maintain the status quo is the major hindrance to the integration of best evidence into nursing care (Makic et al., 2013).
It is imperative to recognize that status quo practices are based on traditional approaches to nursing rather than best evidence. Nurses are therefore required to integrate evidence into patient care. As such, nurses should adopt the appropriate model to promote the use of best evidence, review current evidence, identify new questions, and develop appropriate implementation strategies to translate evidence into practice and patient outcomes.
Nurses can only realize the importance of best evidence in nursing care when they embrace the evidence-based practice as the norm in care provision. Thus, they should not knowingly ignore the best evidence while supporting practices not supported by any evidence.
Makic, M. B., Martin, S. A., Burns, S., Philbrick, D., & Rauen, C. (2013). Putting Evidence Into Nursing Practice: Four Traditional Practices Not Supported by the Evidence. CriticalCareNurse, 33(2), 28-44.