The Influence of Nurse Leaders and Nurse Educators on Registered Nursesí Evidence-based Practices

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:05 PM

Lynn Gallagher-Ford, PhD, RN, NE-BC
Center for Transdisciplinary Evidence-based Practice, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus, OH

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a systematic approach to problem solving using current, best evidence available to make clinical decisions for patient care. When evidence is utilized in practice, patient and nursing outcomes improve.  As a result, EBP is the expected standard of care for healthcare practitioners.  Research about EBP has often focused on factors effecting implementation of EBP including organizational barriers, facilitators and context. Currently there is a gap between the expectation of EBP as the standard practice and the practice that is actually being carried out. Although staff nurses (SN) are responsible for their own professional practice beliefs, attitudes and behaviors,  nurse leaders (NL) and nurse educators (NE) are responsible for the design of clinical environments to support and promote best staff nurse (SN) practices. Knowing more about EBP beliefs, perceptions, and implementation within and between nurses groups (NL, NE, SN) and the influence that they have on one another provides valuable information that contributes to the current body of nursing knowledge related to EBP and the discussion about how to leverage relationships and influence to promote and sustain EBP in nursing.

A descriptive correlational study was conducted to address this gap by examining the differences and relationships between the EBP beliefs, perceptions of organizational culture and readiness for EBP, and implementation of EBP of nurses in different roles including staff nurses and nurse leaders. In addition, the study examined the influence of nurse leaders on staff nurses and EBP. There were 269 participants in the study from three states in the U.S. A demographic questionnaire and three valid and reliable EBP surveys were utilized.

Findings revealed that nurses in different roles scored very differently on EBP attributes.  The implications for staff nurses, nurse leaders and nurse educators will be presented and recommendations for each group will be discussed.