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Apr 14, 2022, 17:06 PM by Gina Kellogg

The Immediate Past President of the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses focused on medical-surgical nurses’ need for self-reported evidence-based practice (EBP) beliefs and competencies. 

Dr. Robin HertelLeawood, Kan., April 14, 2022 — If nurses use evidence-based practice (EBP), the outcomes for patients is much improved, according to Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, CMSRN, Nursing Publishing Training Coordinator of Innovative Learning Sciences for ATI’s parent company, Ascend Learning. Dr. Hertel and a team of colleagues implemented a descriptive, cross-sectional design employing survey methodology to develop the results of their paper, which was recently published in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing (01 March 2022).

The study was funded by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).

In the article, "Medical-surgical nurses' EBP beliefs and competencies," Dr. Hertel identified seven key takeaways for nurse educators interested in the topic:

1) Research consistently demonstrates that patient care and quality outcomes are improved when EBP is integrated into care (Abou Hashish & Alsayed, 2020; Melnyk & Fineout-Overhold, 2019).

2) The ability to integrate EBP into nursing practice is recognized as a set of crucial competencies that should be held by all healthcare professionals (Abou Hashish & Alsayed, 2020; Cengiz & Yoder 2020; IOM, 2003; Lehane et al., 2019; QSEN, n.d.).

3) The IOM has established a goal that 90% of clinical decisions made by healthcare professionals be based upon EBP (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2010).

4) Current literature indicates that only 25% of clinical decisions made by healthcare professionals are based upon EBP due to a lack of knowledge and competencies (Saunders et al., 2019; Gallagher-Ford et al., 2020).

5) A major barrier to the integration of EBP by nurses is the lack of competence (Albarquoni et al., 2018; Gradone &Staffileno, 2019; Nickles et al., 2019; Saunders et al., 2019; Yoder et al., 2022).

* This study found medical-surgical nurse participants self-scored themselves as competent or highly competent in only two of the 24 EBP competencies (Yoder, et al., 2022).

6) Other identified barriers to the integration of EBP include:

* Cultures that are tradition-based rather than evidence-based

* Negative attitudes about the implementation of EBP in nursing practice

* Challenges integrating EBP related to time and resource constraints (Yoder et al., 2022)

* Lack of support by managers and senior leadership (Yoder et al., 2022)

* Lack of EBP mentors (Duncombe, 2019; Melnyk & Fineout-Overhold, 2019; Shayan et al., 2019; Yoder et al., 2022)

* This study further found that nurses are not overly confident about their ability to search for evidence that addresses a clinical issue (68.2%) and 25.3% of respondents thought it was difficult to implement EBP (Yoder, et al., 2022).

7) Educators should implement a comprehensive strategy for the development of nursing student competencies.

* Integration of EBP throughout the curriculum

* Student self-assessment of EBP competencies throughout the course of their nursing program

* Faculty assessment of student EBP competencies throughout the course of their nursing program with opportunities to develop those skills needing improvement

* Consistent use of the steps of EBP throughout all nursing courses with an emphasis on finding and integrating evidence into practice

* Dedicating time to complete EBP work

* Having resources available to search for EBP

* EBP coaches/mentors on site to assist the student.

Those interested in accessing the full paper can do so using the Sigma website using their institutional login or purchasing instant access at:

Abou Hashish, E. A. & Alsayed, S. (2020). Evidence-based practice and its relationship wo quality improvement:  Cross-sectional study among Egyptian nurses. The Open Nursing Journal, 16 (14), 254-262. doi: 10.2174/1874434602014010254

Cengiz, A. & Yoder, L.H. (2020). Assessing nursing students’ perception of the QSEN competencies: A systematic review of the literature with implications for academic programs. Worldview on Evidence-Based Nursing, 17(4), 275-282. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12458

Duncombe, D.C. (2018). A multi-institutional study of the perceived barriers and facilitators to implementing evidence-based practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(5-6), 1216-1226. doi:10.1111/jocn.14168.

Gallagher-Ford., L., Koshy Thomas, B., Connor, L., Sinnott, L.T. & Melnyk, B.M. (2020). The effects of an intensive evidence-based practice education and skills building program on EBP competency and attributes. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 17(1), 71-81. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12397.

Gradone, L.D. & Steaffileno, B.A. (2019). Integration of evidence-based practice at an academic medical center. Medsurg Nursing, 28(1), 53-58.

Institute of Medicine (2003). Health profession education: A bridge to quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Institute of Medicine (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Lehane, E., Leahy-Warren, P., O’Riordan, C., Savage, E., Drennan, J., O’Tuathaigh, C., et al. (2019). Evidence-based practice education for healthcare professions: An expert view. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, 24(3), 103-108. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111019.

Melnyk, B.M., & Fineout-Overhold E. (2019). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice, 4th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Nickles, K.P., Mathews, D.W., Nimmagadda, H., Bailey, M.E., Cox, T.M., Frankling, M. et al. (2019). Registered nurses’ self-assess knowledge of evidence-based practice and research: Moving forward with new information. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 35(4), E15-E19. doi: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000558.

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Institute (n.d.). The evolution of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative. Available from:  [Accessed 6th September, 2021].

Saunders, H., Gallagher-Ford, L., Kvist, T. & Vehvilainen-Julkunen, K. (2019). Practicing healthcare professionals’ evidence-based practice competencies: An overview of systematic reviews. Worldviews of Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(3), 176-185. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12363.

Shayan, S.J., Kiwanuka, F. & Nakaye, Z. (2019). Barriers associated with evidence-based practice among nurses in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(1), 12-20. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12337.

Yoder, L.H., Cengiz, A., Hinkley, T., Hertel, R.A., Gallagher-Ford, L. & Koshy Thomas, B. (2022). Medical-surgical nurses’ EBP beliefs and competencies. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 00, 1-11. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12567.

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