How to Excel at Evaluating a New Graduate Nurse Residency Evidence-Based Practice Program

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 9:30 AM

Donnya E. Mogensen, MS, RN-BC
Professional Development, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO, USA

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is an integral part of nursing and needs to be included in any program that transitions new nurses into practice. New Graduate Nurse Residency Programs (NGNRP) are designed to build knowledge, skills and attitudes of new nurses during this transition. The NGNRP in this example is a year-long program featuring three distinct components; classroom learning, clinical precepted experience and an EBP project. The EBP component is designed to ignite the spirit of inquiry and advance best practices. The EBP component includes classroom EBP curriculum, a hands-on EBP project and outcome measurement of the assimilation of evidence into practice. This presentation will focus on how a large academic healthcare system developed an innovative method to evaluate the EBP components within the NGNRP. 

Currently, individual classes in the NGNRP are evaluated using a level one evaluation of objectives. Anecdotal evidence indicated residents gained knowledge of EBP, but were not always comfortable with the process of integrating evidence into practice. As a means of measuring the new graduate nurses transition in knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to EBP it was determined that a more summative program evaluation was needed. After a search of the literature no evaluation tool was discovered measuring EBP knowledge, skills and attitudes in the new graduate nurse population.

 An innovative program evaluation tool was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the didactic content and project completion of the EBP component within the NGNRP. Quality Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies related to EBP were used as a reference during the development of the thirty question Likert scale tool. In addition, questions reflect separate categories of knowledge, skills and attitudes of the new graduate nurse around EBP competencies.  EBP surveys are distributed at the beginning of the residency and re-evaluated at 6 months and one year.

This tool was originally designed as a program evaluation tool. Initial data indicates residents value EBP but lack knowledge and skills related to EBP models. Based on this initial data, program curriculum has been modified to encompass more details around EBP steps. Further application of this tool will be discussed.