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Assessing Environmental Readiness: First Steps in Developing an Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Culture

Smith, Joan Renaud MSN, RN, NNP-BC; Donze, Ann MSN, RN, NNP-BC

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: January-March 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 61–71
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181ce1357

Significant emphasis has been placed on evidence-based practice (EBP) in today's healthcare systems. Nurses are expected to practice within an EBP framework by using current, reliable, and valid research. However, implementing EBP is not always easy and can be challenging. In order for nurses to provide evidence-based care, they need to be cognizant of organizational factors that can potentially hinder or support an EBP culture. This article provides practitioners with an understanding of how to evaluate environmental readiness for implementation of EBP within their organization. Barriers and facilitators for implementing EBP at the organizational level, at the interdisciplinary team level, and within nursing are also described. To successfully implement EBP, it is important to recognize the interaction between these 3 levels and to highlight the important role nurses play as interdisciplinary team members in supporting an EBP environment.

Division of Nursing and Newborn Intensive Care, St Louis Children's Hospital, St Louis, Missouri.

Corresponding Author: Joan Renaud Smith, MSN, RN, NNP-BC, Division of Nursing and Newborn Intensive Care, St Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, St Louis, MO 63110 (

Submitted for publication: January 30, 2009

Accepted for publication: November 23, 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.