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Evidence-Based Nursing: A Review of Literature


The availability of a large volume of information about improving patient outcomes has increased the need to use the existing knowledge in practice. EBN practice involves the application of learned information and experience to enhance practice and patient outcomes. This new application has attempted to base practice on knowledge gained in class and published materials. There has been an emphasis on the continued acquisition of information from research work to improve outcomes. It has also emphasized peer education and analysis of information among nursing groups and interdisciplinary teams in healthcare.

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What is EBN: Definition

Evident-based nursing is the process of developing and identifying concrete research outcomes and applying them to improve nursing practices. These findings are important in enhancing the quality of services given to the patients. This program aims at ensuring patients receive the best most reliable care. The main objective of Evidence-Based Nursing is to offer the best services to the patients in terms of cost, handling, and attention. Being a patient-oriented program, it was established based on collected and analyzed patient data. This is applied in raising the likelihood of making the right clinical judgment. For the process to succeed, knowledgeable personnel qualified to carry out the research are needed at the workplace. This research must be accurately and precisely carried out to realize reliable results, which can aid in continuous improvement.

Evolution of Evidence-Based Practice in healthcare

Over the last two decades, a massive volume of literature has emerged, elaborating various aspects of evidence-based nursing practice (EBNP). Various researchers and institutions have attempted to determine the worthiness of EBNP in various settings, conditions, countries, and regions. The primary aim is to determine the impact and applicability of EBNP. Melnyk and Fineout-Overhold (59) have shown that the nursing practice in various parts of the world has experienced a growing focus on quality improvement. There is a clear shift from the traditional intuition-based paradigms to a relatively modernized and effective Evidence-based Nursing Practice (Melnyk and Fineout-Overhold 62). According to Einzenberg (38), EBNP refers to the application of the best evidence in the nursing, clinical field, and medical research studies have shown that most healthcare systems and institutions seek to make decisions through the integration of clinical expertise using recent findings. They use research evidence in taking into consideration the preferences as well as values of patients and the expected outcomes. A study by Einzenberg (41) has shown that the practice has become an important part of improvement efforts in various fields within the healthcare system. Several fields such as medicine, mental health, nursing, and health research have experienced a profound impact of the movement towards evidence-based practice (Einzenberg, 2010)

The process of EBN

According to Eizenberg (34), EBNP has five major stages or phases.

  1. formulation of questions that will yield the most suitable or best answer.
  2. Information gathering through a systematic search of evidence from literature and/or clinical guidelines in various fields.
  3. Performance of critical evaluation of the evidence from the sources and determining its validity, feasibility as well as relevance to the practice in question.
  4. To integrate research evidence at the clinical level.
  5. An in-depth assessment of the outcomes obtained from treatments.

EBN: Sources of evidence

Information for use in evidence-based practice must be obtained from peer-reviewed and academically acceptable sources:

  • Journals
  • Peer-reviewed articles
  • Internet-based databases
  • Hospital-based studies
  • Government agents
  • Healthcare institutions
  • Academic work

EBN: Importance in healthcare systems and nursing

A study by Melnyk and Fineout-Overhold (98) attempted to describe the importance of EBNP to the patients. In particular, the research found that EBNP is potentially beneficial to more than one party. For instance, the study found that nurses, patients, and healthcare systems benefitted significantly. Studies have shown that EBNP is beneficial to patients because it enhances their ability to access and obtain information about the most effective methods of treatment.

Importance in healthcare and nursing

On the other hand, EBNP was found to be effective in improving the healthcare system through the facilitation of confident decision-making as well as the advancement of cost-effectiveness. In this way, healthcare systems benefit from these methods. A study by Youngblut and Brooten (468) also found that nurses benefit from EBNP in that it helps in facilitating informed and evidence-based decision-making processes in a clinical setting. In addition, studies have shown that nurses use EBNP to keep updated with the modern dynamics of research, knowledge, and technological advancements (Hutchinson and Johnston 191).

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EBNP: Limitations to development and Application

Despite its importance in healthcare systems and nursing, in particular, EBN has several limitations that affect its use and application. A number of studies have shown that nurses prefer to be informed by their workmates rather than seeking evidence from research. This is a major drawback to EBNP because most nurses find it difficult or are unwilling to look for information from the internet, journals, or other databases. that they like relying on the information they learn during their education as well as experience. In fact, studies have shown that few nurses tend to look for information from library services. other studies have shown that even when information is obtained from libraries, databases, or other peer-reviewed sources (Hutchinson and Johnston 194). Information obtained is rarely applied in a systematic manner. These aspects tend to reduce the applicability of EBNP in modern clinical fields.

How can we improve EBN practice to achieve the required outcomes?

In the conventional EBNP, qualified nurses are required to apply research evidence in their operations. Nurses should apply evidence obtained in class, peer learning, and experience when making a decision that affects their services to patients. Judgments should be made in a professional manner. Decisions should be based on the evidence obtained in the research. Nurses need to be fully involved in the problem identification, research findings, and development of collective action. Dedication and commitment to improving patient care are clearly defined by the American Association of Nurse and Anesthetists (AANA). In the past few years, the public has raised concern over the state of health care services and safety. This calls for better services. In addition, it is accelerated by economic challenges and the demand by the American Institute of Medicine to have evidence-based nursing in practice. The board of directors insisted that registered nurses must use EBN. In an effort to enforce evidence-based nursing, the board of directors formulated, and later in 2007, approved an objective. This happened after Wanda Wilson, the president of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), required the committee members at AANA to develop a policy to govern evidence-based practices. The board of directors and the president of the Association of Nurse and Anesthetists ensured the availability of evidence, particularly when creating documents that are related to practice.

Obtaining solutions to important issues became easy because EBNP provides channels for analyzing and extracting solutions for arising problems. Solid efforts by the Association of Nurse and Anesthetists on evidence-based nursing have caused a reduction in the volume of individual bias and improvement in patient care quality. Applying evidence-based literature to projects eliminates trial and error methods in our health care centers. Research has provided information from where treatment modalities can be picked. This is in relation to the patient’s favorite and history shown by the records. Different individuals portray varying responses to interventions. There is a need for understanding, dedication, and strong commitment from all members of the concerned organization. Goals and objectives should be clear to all members before the commencement of the project. A meeting to discuss and explain the importance of the entire process should be conducted. Participation training is the best method of training to take practitioners through to improve their competency to face the challenges. They need to understand how frame questions are framed and the best methods of gathering information from patients. Databases’ sources of information need to be identified for application. This includes libraries such as internet sources, medical and scientific sources. Software programs can also be used as a source of information. The application of evidence-based literature to a project requires the formulation of good procedures and working manuals. These are rules and guidelines, which will aid the implementation of the evident-based program. The procedures can be made available as hard copies, electronic and modified software programs.

BNP: An analysis of current efforts

Analysis of the evidence-based literature incorporates research evidence about the fact that patients value and expertise in clinical issues. In order to achieve success in evidence-based practice, it is important to gather considerable information. To achieve the best effectiveness, the principle attempts to assess, ask, acquire and apply needs. In the Analysis of the literature, the evaluator needs to determine the achievement of the previously set goals and objectives. This aids in evaluating the outcome of the process. Patients who were taken through the evidence-based program can be a good source of information. Therefore, questionnaires made to extract information from patients can bear great advantages in measuring the effectiveness of the process. The obtained data should be evaluated against standard objectives. The result indicates the effectiveness of patient care and management practice. The results can be tabulated into a chart, tables, or graphs.


The analysis outcome communicates to the practitioners and managers the effectiveness of their operations and points out areas that need improvement. Although the cognitive application is important, the nursing process bears great merit over the standard medical approach. The dedication and commitment of nurses to work as a team with the patients rather than the aspect of working on them is the reason behind the phenomenon. In this process, patients’ assessment, identification of their condition, and evaluation is achieved. Existing literature formed the basis of my proposal. The available literature acted as my starting point from where I developed my project.

Works Cited

Eizenberg, Michal. “Implementation of evidence‐based nursing practice: nurses’ personal and professional factors?.” Journal of advanced nursing 67.1 (2011): 33-42. Print.

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Hutchinson, Alison and Linda Johnston. “Beyond the BARRIERS Scale: commonly reported barriers to research use.” Journal of nursing administration 36.4 (2006): 189-199. Print.

Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek and Ellen Fineout-Overholt. Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011. Print.

Milner, Margaret, Carole Estabrooks and Florence Myrick. “Research utilization and clinical nurse educators: a systematic review.” Journal of evaluation in clinical practice 12.6 (2006): 639-655. Print.

Youngblut, JoAnne and Dorothy Brooten. “Evidence-based nursing practice: Why is it important?.” AACN Advanced Critical Care 12.4 (2001): 468-476. Print.

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