Nursing is a tough profession to perform well. There are constant innovations and changes in healthcare that make research and education a top priority among nurses to achieve the goal of providing high quality care. Evidence-based practice offers nurses a way to use the research continuously developed to create strategies and techniques that better suit the needs of patients. However, it is a daunting task that many nurses have not successfully accomplished. From problems with nursing leaders to an inability to apply knowledge learned, evidence-based practice has not caught on in nursing practice as desired.
To create strategies to better foster evidence-based nursing practice, it is important first to understand competencies and identify which competencies can lead to successful implementation of evidence-based practice. A 2014 article defined competencies and provided core competencies that may foster evidence-based nursing practice. "Competencies are a mechanism that supports health professionals in providing high-quality, safe care. Competencies are holistic entities that are carried out within clinical contexts and are composed of multiple attributes including knowledge, psychomotor skills, and affective skills" (Melnyk, Gallagher-Ford, Long, & Fineout-Overholt, 2014, p. 5). These multiple attributes when carried out will provide the nurse with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively carry out evidence-based practices. These competencies are:
1. Patient-centered care
2. Teamwork and collaboration
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6. Informatics (Melnyk, Gallagher-Ford, Long, & Fineout-Overholt, 2014, p. 5).
Keeping these competencies in mind, strategies aimed to encourage evidence-based practice can include instruction from the beginning levels of learning as nursing students. Equipping nursing students with foundational skills and knowledge will allow the fostering of positive attitudes towards EBP (Evidence-Based Practice). One article discusses a pilot learning program allowed during a clinical practicum in one of China's teaching hospitals. The pilot learning program involves use of a learning process that involves self-directed learning as well as workshop strategies. The results demonstrated marked improvement for participating nursing students in terms of perceptions of EBP, beliefs and attitudes, EBP knowledge, as well as behavior levels. "Beginning competencies in EBP were achieved. Participants reported great satisfaction and have found this program helpful in promoting their analytical and problem-solving abilities, independent learning ability, and cooperative and communication abilities as well" (Zhang, Zeng, Chen, & Li, 2012, p. 570).
In terms of research affecting existing knowledge within professional nursing, it ties in directly with the ongoing changes in healthcare. Research provides constant new information to nursing professionals concerning advancements and insights in healthcare. New treatment options,.....
Melnyk, B., Gallagher-Ford, L., Long, L., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2014). The Establishment of Evidence-Based Practice Competencies for Practicing Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses in Real-World Clinical Settings: Proficiencies to Improve Healthcare Quality, Reliability, Patient Outcomes, and Costs. Worldviews On Evidence-Based Nursing, 11(1), 5-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12021
Zhang, Q., Zeng, T., Chen, Y., & Li, X. (2012). Assisting undergraduate nursing students to learn evidence-based practice through self-directed learning and workshop strategies during clinical practicum. Nurse Education Today, 32(5), 570-575. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2011.05.018