Historically, nursing committees have focused mainly on the process of policy review, with limited use of research and evidence-based literature to guide changes in drafting practice documents, and minimal involvement of staff nurses. To address the variability in clinical practice and to integrate research within an organization, a Clinical Practice Council was established to accomplish this task.
This second presentation of a three-part symposium will address the structure and implementation of an effective Clinical Practice Council that successfully engages frontline clinicians in promoting nursing care that is evidence-based and how it has produced improved patient care outcomes.
Due to the existence of many specialty areas, the Clinical Practice Council has 3 subgroups (i.e., Critical Care; Intermediate Care-Medical Surgical; and Pediatrics, Neonate and Perinatal). Each subgroup is co-chaired by Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) who are knowledgeable in evidence-based practice and able to mentor staff in developing evidence-based practice documents. A doctorally prepared Director of Evidence-Based Practice serves as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Council, and a mentor for research and evidence-based practice.
Staff nurses from each unit in the hospital with strong clinical knowledge and skills represent the unique needs of their specific unit and help align consistent nursing practices in their unit and throughout the hospital. Participation at the monthly council meetings provide opportunities for advanced learning about evidence-based practice and research, and actual group and council work in the following areas: (1) retrieval, critique, and synthesis of evidence-based literature, (2) interpretation and evaluation of current evidence, (3) review and revision of policies and other practice documents, (4) performance within council structures, (5) dissemination of new evidence-based practice changes, and (6) clinical role modeling and leadership skills. Additional structure design and implementation strategies such as hospital-wide dissemination will be presented at the symposium.