The Current State of Evidence-Based Practice in Nurses Across the United States
Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek
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(41st Biennial Convention) Background/Significance: Although multiple studies have supported that evidence-based practice (EBP) improves the quality of healthcare, enhances patient outcomes, reduces the geographic variation in care and decreases healthcare costs, it is not consistently implemented in hospitals and healthcare systems across the United States. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the current state of EBP in nurses across the United States. Methods: A descriptive survey was conducted with nurses from the American Nurses Association using Survey Monkey. An invitation to participate in the survey was sent via email to a random sample of 20% of the ANA membership. Findings: A total of 1015 ANA members responded to the electronic survey. Respondents' ages ranged from 21 to 79 years with a mean of 51.2 years. Nearly 56% of respondents held master's degrees or higher; 44% had a baccalaureate or less advanced degree. About 3/8 of the respondents were staff nurses. Nearly 1/4 was nurse educators. Only 544 (53.6%) agreed or strongly agreed that EBP is consistently implemented in their healthcare setting and only 350 (34.5%) agreed or strongly agreed that their colleagues consistently implement EBP with their patients. Furthermore, only 329 (32.5%) agreed or strongly agreed that EBP mentors were available in their healthcare systems to help them with EBP and only 471 (46.4%) agreed or strongly agreed that findings from research studies are routinely implemented to improve patient outcomes in their institution. Seven hundred seventy three respondents (76.2%) agreed or strongly agreed that it was important for them to receive more education and skills building in EBP. Conclusions: Findings from this survey indicate that there is an urgent need to continue to accelerate efforts to enhance and sustain EBP knowledge and skills in nurses across the U.S.