Reading that Evidence based practice (EBP) is currently only at 15% in United States is concerning. EBP is defined as “integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. … EBP is aimed at hardwiring current knowledge into common care decisions to improve care processes and patient outcomes” (The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2013). I am sure that if you asked any nurse if they wanted the best for their patients they would say yes. So, why are we only at 15%? The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has listed a few barriers as to why EVB is not being carried out. Two of the barriers listed by the association are: (1) lack of time to locate and synthesize knowledge and (2) negative attitudes towards research and EBP (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). One can see how lack of time could be a contributing factor as to why our percentage is so low. Most nurses have busy lives outside of work and usually do not have the time to sit and research EBP. One can also see how negative attitudes could affect EBP for example, bedside shift report. From experience, most nurses who have been in practice for a while are against bedside shift report even though it is proven EBP, because they are set in their ways. A suggestion that could help these two examples would be to assign mandatory learning activities to employees. By doing this the nurses would actually have to sit down and review evidence based practice. To make sure nurses are providing EBP after completing the learning modules it requires leadership oversight in order to hold nurses accountable.
A review of an article found the in American Journal of Nursing (2012) states that there are two major factors which impede the implementation of EBP: “lack of time and an organizational culture that didn’t support” (p. 1). A lack of time makes sense, especially considering the continued increasing nurse-to-patient ratios; this makes it difficult to deviate from current practices which help maintain a routine for nursing staff. Another factor in “lack of time” is that nurses have lives outside of the hospital setting; family and social life takes precedent over spending time in front of a compute, researching new EBP to implement. In regards to decreased organizational cultural support, this comes from the continued increasing numbers of baby boomer nurses who are so set in their ways, that when change comes around, it is almost impossible to convince them to adopt these changes. Though sometimes, these changes are forced and cannot be helped, it is something that we must accommodate and accept. Not only do the older “baby boomer” nurses have issues, but sometimes the culture within the facility itself is not conducive to change. In order to foster an environment where both of these barriers are addressed would be to assign mandatory education activities for nursing staff to participate in. This then requires the nurses to sit down and discuss and become educated on current EBP, while creating an environment that is conducive and positive to the change. The facility I currently work in requires that, after completing an EBP related course, nursing staff complete online education modules to solidify the education provided.
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