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AACN Advanced Critical Care:
doi: 10.1097/NCI.0000000000000006
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Evaluation of Nurse Engagement in Evidence-Based Practice

Davidson, Judy E. RN, DNP, CNS; Brown, Caroline RN, DEd, CNS

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Abstract

The purpose of this project was to explore nurses' willingness to question and change practice. Nurses were invited to report practice improvement opportunities, and participants were supported through the process of a practice change. The project leader engaged to the extent desired by the participant. Meetings proceeded until the participant no longer wished to continue, progress was blocked, or practice was changed. Evaluation of the evidence-based practice change process occurred. Fifteen nurses reported 23 practice improvement opportunities. The majority (12 of 15) preferred to have the project leader review the evidence. Fourteen projects changed practice; 4 were presented at conferences. Multiple barriers were identified throughout the process and included loss of momentum, the proposed change involved other disciplines, and low level or controversial evidence. Practice issues were linked to quality metrics, cost of care, patient satisfaction, regulatory compliance, and patient safety. Active engagement by nurse leaders was needed for a practice change to occur. Participants identified important problems previously unknown to hospital administrators. The majority of nurses preferred involvement in practice change based on clinical problem solving when supported by others to provide literature review and manage the process through committees. Recommendations include supporting a culture that encourages employees to report practice improvement opportunities and provide resources to assist in navigating the identified practice change.

© 2014 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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