Logo site
Logo site

Understanding Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

This article was written in collaboration with Christine T. and ChatGPT, our little helper developed by OpenAI.

Understanding Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

As healthcare becomes more complex, nurses face a continuous challenge to provide the best possible care to their patients. Evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing is an essential approach that allows nurses to provide care based on the most current and relevant research evidence. In this article, we will explore the definition, steps, benefits, and challenges of implementing EBP in nursing. You may also enjoy reading about the latest EBP nursing research topics, how to choose them, and where to find ideas for EBP projects.

Defining Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to healthcare that integrates the best available research evidence with clinical experience and patient values and preferences. This process heavily relies on understanding the importance of literature review in research to ensure that the most relevant and accurate information is used. EBP is a problem-based approach to clinical decision-making that involves using the best current evidence to inform clinical practice. EBP in nursing is based on the principle that nursing interventions should be based on evidence that has been rigorously tested through research.

The Concept’s Roots

The concept of EBP in nursing has its roots in the pioneering work of Florence Nightingale in the 19th century. Nightingale believed that nursing should be based on sound principles and practices supported by scientific evidence. Nurses must be trained in the use of statistics and other research methods. The concept of EBP in nursing has evolved, with increasing emphasis on the importance of considering patients’ preferences and values in clinical decision-making.

Steps in Evidence-Based Practice

The steps involved in evidence-based practice (EBP) are important to understand for any nurse who wants to integrate this approach into their clinical practice. These steps provide a framework for implementing EBP and include the following:

  • Formulation of the clinical question

In order to use evidence to inform practice, nurses must first identify the clinical problem or questions that require attention. This question should be focused and specific and based on uncertainty or inconsistency in practice.

  • Evidence search

Once a clinical question is formulated, the nurse should conduct a thorough literature search to find relevant studies and other sources of evidence. This may include using databases such as PubMed or CINAHL or consulting with subject matter experts.

  • Critical evaluation of evidence

Once evidence is identified, it must be critically evaluated to determine its relevance, validity, and reliability. This involves assessing the methods used in the studies, the quality of the evidence, and potential biases that may have affected the results.

  • Integrate evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences

Once the evidence has been evaluated, it must be integrated with the nurse’s own clinical experience and patient preferences. This involves weighing the evidence in the context of the patient’s individual needs and circumstances.

  • Evaluating the results of changes in practice

Finally, the nurse should evaluate the outcomes of any changes in practice that are implemented as a result of an evidence-based approach. This involves monitoring the effectiveness of changes and making necessary adjustments to optimize patient outcomes.

Benefits of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

The main benefits of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in nursing are:

  • Improved patient outcomes

EBP helps nurses to provide care that is based on the best available evidence, which can lead to better health outcomes for patients.

  • Increased quality of care

When nurses use evidence-based interventions and treatments, they are more likely to provide care that is effective and efficient. This can help to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient satisfaction with their care.

  • Efficient use of healthcare resources

By using evidence-based interventions and treatments, nurses can help to reduce waste and unnecessary procedures, which can save healthcare resources for those who need them most.

  • Improved job satisfaction

When nurses use evidence-based interventions and treatments, they can feel more confident in their ability to provide high-quality care. This can lead to a greater sense of job satisfaction and professional fulfillment.

Overall, EBP is widely adopted in nursing because of its proven benefits for nurses, patients, and the healthcare system as a whole, aligning with the IOM recommendations.

Challenges of Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

Implementing evidence-based practice in nursing can be challenging, despite its many benefits. Some of the main challenges include:

  • Limited access to evidence

Nurses may face difficulties in accessing up-to-date and relevant research evidence due to limited time, resources, and skills. This can make it challenging to find and apply the best available evidence to inform practice.

  • Resistance to change

Resistance to change can be a significant barrier to implementing evidence-based practice in nursing. Nurses may be comfortable with their current practice and may not see the need to change their approach based on research evidence.

  • Lack of organizational support

The implementation of evidence-based practice requires organizational support and resources, such as funding, training, and access to technology. The lack of these resources can hinder the adoption of evidence-based practice in nursing.

  • The complexity of research evidence

Research evidence can be complex and difficult to understand and apply in practice. Nurses may require additional training and education to effectively interpret and apply evidence-based interventions.

  • Time constraints

Nurses are often busy and have limited time to dedicate to the implementation of evidence-based practice. This can make it challenging to integrate evidence-based interventions into their daily routines and may require a significant shift in priorities and workloads.


EBP in nursing is a critical approach that enables nurses to provide care based on the best available evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences. By following the steps of EBP, nurses can make informed decisions about patient care that are based on the best available evidence. EBP has numerous benefits for nurses, patients, and the health care system as a whole. However, there are several challenges to implementing EBP in nursing, including lack of knowledge and skills, time constraints, lack of support, and resistance to change. By addressing these challenges, nurses can successfully implement EBP and provide the highest quality of care to their patients.

📎 Related Articles

1. The Role of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
2. Evidence-Based Nursing
3. Evidence-Based Practice