EBP Knowledge and Competency in Nurses at Magnet and Non-Magnet Healthcare Institutions: A National Survey

Sunday, 22 July 2018: 8:50 AM

Cindy G. Zellefrow, DNP, MSEd, RN, LSN, APHN-BC
Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is key to quality and safety and improved outcomes in patients, practitioners, organizations and the communities they serve. It has become an imperative for the global healthcare community as it improves patient outcomes and the quality, consistency, and cost-efficiency of care. The American Nurses’ Credentialing Center’s (ANCC’s) Magnet and Pathways to Excellence Recognition Programs® recognize health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. To attain Magnet status, hospitals are required to demonstrate high-quality, evidence-based nursing care. In spite of this commitment to excellence, studies have shown that EBP is not practiced consistently by clinicians worldwide.

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to describe differences in EBP knowledge and EBP competency between nurses employed at Magnet and non-Magnet healthcare institutions.

Methods: U.S. nurses from 19 hospitals and healthcare systems participated in a national study about EBP knowledge, beliefs, implementation and competency as well as job-related outcomes. A sample of 2,344 nurses completed the online survey between February and August 2017. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the collected data.

Results: Although scores on the EBP knowledge scale were broad range, there were minimal differences between EBP knowledge scores in nurses working in Magnet vs Non-Magnet hospitals. Data suggest a knowledge deficit around key concepts, including the steps of EBP. Findings also suggest confusion remains around the differences between EBP, research and QI. Likewise, data suggests EBP competency remains low with minimal differences between nurses working at Magnet vs. Non-Magnet healthcare institutions.

Conclusions: EBP knowledge and competency are key if nurses are to effectively implement evidence-based practice into decision-making. Findings from this study suggest there are negligible differences between EBP knowledge and competency in nurses at Magnet vs Non-Magnet healthcare institutions. The Magnet program is committed to excellence in nursing and EBP is valued as a means to reach quality and safety in patient care and in nursing. Thoughtful and intentional integration of EBP into professional development and academic programs lend opportunity to accelerate knowledge attainment and competency, resulting in positive outcomes for patients, practitioners, organizations and the communities they serve around the globe. Further, EBP education and research are needed to further explore the most effective means for developing nurses competent in EBP.