Developing Nurse Scholars and Leaders: Evidence-Based Guidelines as Untapped Resources

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 3:05 PM

Judith Hertz, PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN
School of Nursing & Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Learning Objective 1: Discuss how evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines can be used to not only improve client outcomes but also to develop nursing science.

Learning Objective 2: Identify at least one strategy for building nursing science based on an existing EBP guideline used in one’s practice setting.

Evidence-based practice guidelines (EBPs) are commonplace in nursing practice and educational settings. Most agree that EBPs are essential to implement quality nursing care and to promote positive client outcomes.  Accreditors of diverse practice and educational settings who require use of EBPs in their guidelines reinforce this idea.

When creating EBPs, the goal is to synthesize and rank extant evidence as the basis for practices in specific healthcare situations. By consensus, the best available evidence is empirical evidence from randomized control trials (RCTs). Other evidence (e.g., expert opinions, position statements, theories) might be considered, but carry less weight. Conversely, the comprehensive knowledge base of nursing science includes ethical, aesthetic, personal, emancipatory and empirical knowledge (Carper, 1978; Chinn & Kramer, 2011; Fawcett, Watson, Neuman, Walker & Fitzpatrick 2001). Therefore, to develop future nurse scholars to lead the future growth of nursing science, educators must consider strategies for promoting comprehensive knowledge development.  A potential, untapped resource for prioritizing areas for comprehensive knowledge development is the growing number of EBPs.

The purpose of this presentation is to encourage nurse educators and scholars to consider strategies for comprehensively building nursing science via existing EBPs.

The primary focus of this presentation will be on reviewing the ways of knowing/knowledge and the contribution of each to nursing science.  Based on personal experiences in leading a team that developed an EBP in 2005 and its recent update, content from the EBP will be analyzed to illustrate how its synthesized evidence can be used to prioritize areas for future ethical, aesthetic, personal, emancipatory and empirical knowledge development. This content and approach has implications for nurse educators who contribute to the development of future nursing scholars as leaders and to nursing scholars (neophyte and seasoned) who ensure comprehensive nursing science development.