Teaching by Doing: Providing Interactive EBP Continuing Nursing Education

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 10:50 AM
Jane C. Shivnan, MScN, RN, AOCN , The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen M. White, PhD, RN, CNAA, CMAC , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Learning Objective 1: Apply principles of adult learning to the design of EBP educational programs

Learning Objective 2: List strategies for conducting a successful “hands-on” EBP workshop

To create an organizational culture of evidence-based practice (EBP), nurses must first acquire competency in using an EBP model to ask and answer practice questions. Nurses, like other adult learners, seek relevant and practical educational opportunities that actively involve them in the educational process. Our institution has successfully used an interactive approach to EBP training that takes participants through an actual EBP project. The hands-on workshop is conducted for small groups (twenty to thirty participants) in a classroom equipped with computers and access to our online medical library resources and internet. Each workshop uses a pre-selected practice question and literature search of interest to the group. Participants learn about our institution's EBP model and its accompanying tools by using them to address the chosen practice question. Participants practice essential skills, including finding relevant sources of evidence, discussing and rating evidence, and determining the relevance of their conclusions for their individual clinical settings and patient populations. Over a dozen workshops have been presented within our hospital and school of nursing, and the program has also been customized for other hospitals. It is now offered on a regular basis internally and as a continuing nursing education program to nurses and nursing faculty from other organizations. Certain strategies have proven to be particularly helpful in the design and delivery of this continuing education program. These include selection of an interesting and meaningful practice question, pre-screening of the literature by the workshop faculty, and “just-in-time” training of participants who will help conduct EBP projects soon after attending the program. This approach to education has helped build competency and interest in EBP as a powerful tool to improve nursing practice.