Walking the Walk: Designing a 10-Week Research Course and Integrating an EBP Model

Monday, 9 November 2015

Milena P. Staykova, EdD, APRN, FNP-BC
Department of Nursing, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke, VA, USA
Daniele I. Staykov, student, None
Schoool, Hidden Valley High School, Roanoke, VA, USA

In the 21stcentury’s healthcare, behind every clinical decision making, there should be evidence to support it. Using Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is not any more in the realm of opportunities but it has become an expectation for daily professional practice in any healthcare field including nursing. Professional organizations such as the American Association College of Nursing and National League of Nursing  have drafted the future of professional nursing practice that should be based on evidence. Sigma Theta Tau International is one of the first international organizations that are supporting the development of nursing scholarship and clinical practice that is based on evidence. The public and employers expect the new graduate nurses entering clinical settings to integrate a high-quality level of evidence into their clinical decision-making and lead the delivery of safe, cost effective but quality, patient-centered care.  However, at the academic institutions, the nursing research courses often put greater emphasis on learning research concepts rather than using the evidence to make clinical decision for a specific clinical condition and in a specific clinical situation. The limited  EBP exposure leaves the students unprepared for the transition to the professional nursing practice. Furthermore, the fast-paced nature of the contemporary education demands from the faculty to deliver condensable information and quickly prepare clinicians using technology, engaging teaching strategies and student-centered education. Nursing faculty members face the challenge to select key content and meet course objectives in a short time period.  The purposes of this project are to discuss how nursing students develop evidence-based practice knowledge, skills, and attitudes over a 10-week course and to share the design of a student project that is based on EBP model for clinical decision making.

Method: A pedagogical procedure to teaching nursing research and integrate an EBP model for clinical decision-making. Population: 27 traditional track and 27 accelerated (2ndbaccalaureate degree) track BSN students from diverse backgrounds, age, and gender completed the 10-week course. Design: 10-week course that included educational modules integrating animated lectures, practice sessions, innovative and engaging in-class activities, exams, and poster and power point project presentations.

Results: 3 students posters were invited for presentation at the Week of the Nurse by the Sr. Director of Research and EBP of a Magnet-designated organization. The topic ranged from Catheter Associated Central Line Infections and Ventilator Associated Pneumonia to Violence at Workplace. Two posters were presented at the College Research Day; 1 abstract was invited for a poster presentation at a professional conference; 3 student abstracts were submitted for poster presentations at the 43rdSTTI biannual convention. One team was invited to present at the local hospital’s Evidence-Based Council. One team presented the group project to oncology nurses who were starting a new central-line-infection-prevention product that the students have researched during their project.

Discussions: The culture for EBP and clinical inquiry for best evidence can be ignited in a classroom at a baccalaureate degree level when students experience its close relevance to future professional practice.  A 10-week course is a demanding but rewarding experience for baccalaureate-prepared nursing students. Engaging students in active learning instead of attending lectures only can have the benefit of producing lifelong outcomes for future workforce that will embrace research and EBP.