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University of North Carolina Wilmington

Why Evidence-Based Practice Is Critical for Nurses

Nurses today face the challenges of more complex patient needs and a rapidly changing medical environment. There is a heightened need for highly skilled and well-trained professionals who are willing to apply their knowledge and experience to the unique needs of each patient to produce better results. This is where evidence-based practice enters the picture.

Evidence-based practice in nursing

What Is Evidence-Based Practice?

According to the Academy for Medical-Surgical Nurses, evidence-based practice is a beneficial way to affect patient care in positive ways. Nurses who have completed online RN to BSN programs have the knowledge and experience necessary to make the best decisions for their patients.

The Academy illustrates this concept with a Venn diagram with three circles: best research evidence, clinical expertise and patient values. The area where all three circles overlap is evidence-based practice.

Why Should Nurses Learn It?

As patients’ needs become more complex and healthcare options become more varied, nurses must use problem-solving approaches like evidence-based practice. This means incorporating their experience, their knowledge and the preferences of the patient to provide the best care.

According to a Nursing World report, nurses who use evidence-based practice may be more likely to see improved patient outcomes. The report defines quality healthcare as healthcare services which align with current health knowledge to increase the number of desired health outcomes for patients. This means that more healthy patients get to return home sooner.

What Does It Look Like in Practice?

According to the Academy for Medical-Surgical Nurses, nurses who use evidence-based practice take the following steps:

  • Formulating a question by determining the problem.
  • Reviewing evidence to determine the best course of treatment.
  • Implementing the plan by dispensing the necessary medicine.
  • Evaluating the plan by reassessing the patient within a determined interval.

Nurses are looking to new technology, like applications or apps for hand-held devices, to assist them with point-of-care evidence-based practice. According to an article on Nursing Center by Cathy J. Thompson Ph.D., RN, CCNS, CNE, there are many quality apps that can assist nurses in finding necessary medical information quickly and accurately. Information such as guidelines, methods for diagnosis and treatment, drug references and formulas and medical calculators is all accessible through an application.

What Are the Advantages of a Higher Education?

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing maintains that quality patient care goes hand-in-hand with a well-educated workforce. Nurses who earn a degree through one of the many qualified online RN to BSN programs deliver a level of care that improves patient outcomes. There is no doubt that education has a positive effect on a nurse’s ability to provide care.

Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

Retrieved from Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce. (n.d.). http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-workforce

Retrieved from Evidence-Based Practice. (n.d.). https://www.amsn.org/practice-resources/evidence-based-practice

Retrieved from The Impact of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and the Next Big Ideas. (2013, May 31). http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-18-2013/No2-May-2013/Impact-of-Evidence-Based-Practice.html

Retrieved from Thompson, C. (2015, April). Clinical Practice in CNS Education: There’s an App for That!: Part 1: Apps for Evidence-Based Practice. http://www.nursingcenter.com/evidencebasedpracticenetwork/home/journalarticle.aspx?Article_ID=2734557

Retrieved from The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice. (n.d.) http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/impact-of-education


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