Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Innovative Classroom and Clinical Strategies to Integrate EBP
Incorporating EBP into Population Based Practice
Kay Jarrell, Arizona State University College of Nursing &*Healthcare Innovation, Phoenix, AZ, USA

    While nursing students have the skills to search the research for the best evidence following a class in evidence-based practice (EBP), they often lack the clinical expertise, and the knowledge of the client’s beliefs and values that are the other essential components of the EBP process. As a result, they are frequently reluctant to engage in EBP. Clinical expertise comes with experience, and normally senior nursing students feel they lack sufficient experience to claim any real clinical expertise. Nursing schools provide students with many opportunities to work with clients in a variety of settings, however, it is rare that a student provides service to a client for more than one shift. The result is that most students have little confidence in determining the client’s values and beliefs after only one encounter.

            Community/public health nursing is different.  Students have the good fortune to work with a single client (albeit an aggregate) the entire semester, so they have the chance to become well acquainted with this ‘client’ (from the literature and their experience) and develop a greater sense of confidence and expertise.  An assignment was developed in a community/public health nursing course to assist students in gaining this expertise of the client…a vulnerable population             Throughout the course, students select a population and immerse themselves in the literature and a clinical setting providing service to the selected population. They look at their group from the standpoint of epidemiology to environmental health, from levels of prevention to levels of need . Because community/public health nursing allows this intensive interaction with a single ‘client/population, students become ‘experts’ and demonstrate increased confidence in engaging in EBP.  This presentation will discuss the development of this clinical strategy, specific activities engaged by the students, and it’s evaluation from both the student and faculty perspectives.