Determining Registered Nurses' Readiness for Evidence-Based Practice

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Abstract

Background

As health care systems worldwide move toward instituting evidence-based practice (EBP), its implementation can be challenging. Conducting a baseline assessment to determine nurses' readiness for EBP presents opportunities to plan strategies before implementation. Although a growing body of research literature is focused on implementing EBP, little attention has been paid to assessing nurses' readiness for EBP.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to assess registered nurses' readiness for EBP in a moderate-sized acute care hospital in the Midwestern United States before implementation of a hospital-wide nursing EBP initiative.

Design and Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used; 121 registered nurses completed the survey. The participants (n= 121) completed the 64-item Nurses' Readiness for Evidence-Based Practice Survey that allowed measurement of information needs, knowledge and skills, culture, and attitudes. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a post hoc analysis.

Results

The majority (72.5%) of respondents indicated that when they needed information, they consulted colleagues and peers rather than using journals and books; 24% of nurses surveyed used the health database, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL®). The respondents perceived their EBP knowledge level as moderate. Cultural EBP scores were moderate, with unit scores being higher than organizational scores. The nurses' attitudes toward EBP were positive. The post hoc analysis showed many significant correlations.

Conclusions and Implications

Nurses have access to technological resources and perceive that they have the ability to engage in basic information gathering but not in higher level evidence gathering. The elements important to EBP such as a workplace culture and positive attitudes are present and can be built upon. A “site-specific” baseline assessment provides direction in planning EBP initiatives. The Nurses' Readiness for EBP Survey is a streamlined tool with established reliability and validity.

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