Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Strategies for Utilization of Research
Attitudes and Use of Evidence-Based Practice among Nurses in Rural Community Hospitals
Helen K. Burns, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Center for Research in Chronic Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA and Ann Bender, PhD, Center for Research in Chronic Disorders, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Learning Objective #1: describe a methodology for assessing use of evidence-based practice among rural staff nurses.
Learning Objective #2: describe key factors in the attitudes of rural nurses toward evidence-based practice.


     The adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) into the practice of nursing has the goal of integrating scientifically sound research, the clinical expertise of the nurse, and the values of the patient to optimize patient care and to foster an environment of ongoing learning and problem-solving in the nursing profession. While there is broad support for clinical practice that is based on scientific findings, clinical polices and practices continue to be founded on tradition, habit, routine, and experience. Although clinical nurses may recognize the need for EBP, limited evidence exists to support nurses' use of an evidence- based approach to practice.

     Several barriers to the implementation of EBP have been identified, including the educational level of the nurse, as well as an organizational culture that may not place a high value on nurses using research. In general, these results are based on findings from nurses who practice in urban settings. These barriers may have particular salience for nurses in rural community hospitals, as there may be fewer opportunities to obtain additional education, to access the scientific literature, and to consult with other clinicians who use EBP or do research. Yet, very few studies have looked at the pattern of EBP use among rural nurses in the U.S. 

     This presentation will report on a survey of nurses in 5 rural community hospitals (N = 444) to identify the factors that may affect the use of EBP. Demographics of these nurses, their attitudes and current use of EBP, and how their level of education and years of nursing experience affect these attitudes will be discussed.