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CE: Original Research: Staff Nurses’ Use of Research to Facilitate Evidence-Based Practice

Yoder, Linda H. PhD, MBA, RN, AOCN, FAAN; Kirkley, Debra PhD, RN; McFall, D. Curk MSN, RN; Kirksey, Kenn M. PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN; StalBaum, Angela L. MSN, RN; Sellers, Diana MSN, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: September 2014 - Volume 114 - Issue 9 - p 26–37
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000453753.00894.29
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Objectives: To determine to what extent RNs in an acute care multihospital system used research findings in their practice; what types of knowledge they used in their practice; and what personal, professional, and organizational factors enhanced or hindered their research utilization.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive, online survey design was used. The survey, which asked about use of research findings in practice and evidence-based practice (EBP) participation, was placed on the hospital system intranet. Of the 2,900 RNs invited to participate, 1,112 nurses completed usable surveys, for a response rate of 38%. This article reports findings for 794 of the staff nurses who responded to the survey.

Results: The forms of knowledge that staff nurses reported relying on most were their personal experience with patients, conferences, hospital policies and procedures, physician colleagues, and nursing peers. Although a variety of resources were available for nurses to use in locating research and implementing EBP, respondents reported many of the same barriers that have been reported in other studies over the last two decades: lack of time, lack of resources, and lack of knowledge. Although their attitudes about research utilization and EBP were positive overall, respondents expected unit-based educators and clinical nurse specialists to collect and synthesize the research for them.

Conclusions: These findings are similar to those of other recent studies regarding nurses’ research utilization and EBP. A great deal of work remains to be done if we are to inform, educate, and assist staff nurses in using research and implementing EBP. It may be unrealistic to expect bedside nurses to add these activities to their duties unless they are compensated for the time and have the support of master's or doctorally prepared nurses to serve as EBP coaches and champions.

The authors used an online survey to determine to what extent RNs in an acute care multihospital system used research findings in their practice.

Linda H. Yoder is the director of the Graduate Program in Nursing Administration and Healthcare Systems Management at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. Debra Kirkley is the program manager of Nursing Practice and Research at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, WA. D. Curk McFall is an ED RN at the University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. Kenn M. Kirksey is the director of the Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. Angela L. StalBaum is the chief nursing officer and Diana Sellers is project coordinator and lead RN at Seton Medical Center Austin. The authors acknowledge Joyce Batcheller, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, for proofreading the manuscript and providing substantive recommendations regarding the findings. Contact author: Linda H. Yoder, lyoder@mail.nur.utexas.edu. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.