24 strategies nurses need for evidence-based care

Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice nurses (APNs) should implement 24 competencies--or combinations of skill and knowledge--to factor evidence-based care into clinical settings, according to a new study published in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.

Evidence-based care refers to patient-care decisions based on a combination of clinical research results, patient preferences and clinician recommendations.

Researchers surveyed national authorities in evidence-based practice (EBP), as well as 80 nurses who serve as EBP mentors. Based on a consensus, the EBP mentors recommended that RNs follow 13 competencies while APNs follow 11 strategies. 

Among the recommended competencies for RNs are to:

  • Appraise existing, published research with a critical eye;

  • Question clinical practices to improve quality of care; and

  • Monitor outcomes data that indicates the success of newly implemented practices.

The recommendations for APNs center more on leadership strategies, such as helping to create a culture where EBP can thrive.

All recommendations emphasize actively involving nurses in shifting care standards away from the status quo and toward a more research-based model, according to News Medical. Prior research indicates evidence-based care can improve quality of care and cut costs by up to 30 percent, according to the article.

"This isn't something that's just 'nice to do' anymore. This is something that we have got to do to improve quality and safety in healthcare and to improve patient outcomes," lead study author Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., dean of The Ohio State University College of Nursing, told News Medical. "We have enough studies to show that evidence-based care can produce these good results as well as fewer complications and hospital readmissions and shorter lengths of stay. But, we are talking about behavior change for clinicians, and that's not a simple process."

A report last June indicated that applying the evidence-based care model to surgical practices can improve patient safety and outcomes, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the recommendations
- here's the article