Linking Education, Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 3:55 PM
Sheron L. Salyer, DNSc , School of Nursing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Carolyn D. Hix, DNP , School of Nursing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Joy M. Green-Hadden, RN, MSN, FNP-C , School of Nursing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

Learning Objective 1: Discuss how student perceptions changed across their study program.

Learning Objective 2: Describe the active learning process used to help students acquire the knowledge and skills to link education, research and practice

In health care environments with nursing shortages and high cost of care, the nurse's ability to provide Evidence Based Practice (EBP) can have a positive influence on health care. Pravikoff, Tanner, & Pierce (2005) found nurses lacked the skills needed to access bibliographic databases or the Cochrane libraries. With the move towards EBP, student nurses transitioning into professional practice need to be knowledgable of what EBP is and need to develop skill sets to help them become critical consumers of research.

This presentation describes an EBP service learning assignment in the semester following completion of a research course that let students practice skills learned in the research course by generating evidence-based bibliographies for questions of interest to nurses in the clinical environments hosting student learning experiences. Throughout the semester, students identified and evaluated the available evidence for nursery, labor and delivery, postpartum, childbirth educators, NICU and the county health department generated topics. A notebook containing a bibliography, an abstract summarizing 8 to 12 research based articles, copies of the articles reviewed and student evaluations for each article was given to the clinical sites. These notebooks were used to justify adding a new nursing position and as background information for a grant application.

This study describes students' perceptions of EBP at three points across the upper division nursing courses in a Southeastern Baccalaureate program. The first assessment was conducted following completion of the research course. A second assessment explored how hands-on-experiences influenced their perceptions of EBP. The final assessment looked at perceptions of EBP at the conclusion of the Baccalaureate program. When comparing different educational backgrounds for preparing nurses for professional practice, one area students differ is in their preparedness for research based practice. This study evaluated how nurses' perceptions of EBP changed over the course of a Baccalaureate program.