Influencing Evidence-Based Practice through a Network of Best Practice Champions

Monday, July 11, 2011: 10:35 AM

Heather McConnell, RN, BScN, MA (Ed)
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Toronto, ON, Canada
Irmajean Bajnok, RN, MSN, PhD
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: Describe the role of the Best Practice Champion in promoting and supporting evidence-based practices in their workplace

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the strategic supports that have proven necessary to facilitate the integration of Champions as knowledge transfer agents.

A professional nursing association in Canada has conceived and implemented the Nursing Best Practice Champion role to promote and support evidence-based practice changes at the level of the individual nurse.  To date, over 4000 nurses have embraced the role of Champion. The Best Practice Champions are nurses and others who are passionate about improving nursing practice and client care in their organization, and can be anyone who has the potential for organizational and/or unit program level influence.   The Champions have taken on many different roles, such as: bringing awareness of best practices to their organization: influencing groups and committees to consider these best practices; as well as mobilizing, coordinating, and facilitating the training and development of professional staff in evidence-based guideline implementation. 

To sustain nurses who commit to becoming Champions, a Network has been established to provide a means of sharing successes and challenges, requesting assistance, and continuous learning on dissemination and implementation of nursing best practices.  It has been recognized, however, that Champions cannot fulfill their role without support from their practice setting.  Many different types of strategic support have been identified as central to the success of Champions, which include: institutional support; managerial support; support from nurse educators and advance practice nurses; support from peers; and, the support of other Champions.

This presentation will highlight the results of an external review of the Champions program, and will share promising practices related to the use of nurses, prepared as Champions, as knowledge transfer agents within varied and diverse workplaces.