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The State of Evidence-Based Practice in US Nurses: Critical Implications for Nurse Leaders and Educators

Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN; Fineout-Overholt, Ellen PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN; Gallagher-Ford, Lynn PhD, RN; Kaplan, Louise PhD, RN, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: September 2012 - Volume 42 - Issue 9 - p 410–417
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182664e0a

This descriptive survey assessed the perception of evidence-based practice (EBP) among nurses in the United States. Although evidence-based healthcare results in improved patient outcomes and reduced costs, nurses do not consistently implement evidence-based best practices. A descriptive survey was conducted with a random sample of 1015 RNs who are members of the American Nurses Association. Although nurses believe in evidence-based care, barriers remain prevalent, including resistance from colleagues, nurse leaders, and managers. Differences existed in responses of nurses from Magnet® versus non-Magnet institutions as well as nurses with master’s versus nonmaster’s degrees. Nurse leaders and educators must provide learning opportunities regarding EBP and facilitate supportive cultures to achieve the Institute of Medicine’s 2020 goal that 90% of clinical decisions be evidence-based.

Author Affiliations: Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor (Dr Melnyk), The Ohio State University; Director, Center for Transdisciplinary Evidence-Based Practice (Dr Gallagher-Ford), The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus; Groner School of Professional Studies Dean and Professor and Department of Nursing Chair (Dr Fineout-Overholt), East Texas Baptist University, Marshall; Associate Professor of Nursing and Director (Dr Kaplan), Nursing Program, Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington.

Dr Kaplan was employed by the American Nurses Association at the time of this survey.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Melnyk, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, 1585 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43210 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.