The impact of evidence-based practice (EBP) in health care cannot be overemphasized. It is has been endorsed in research and practice as a method that obtains the highest level of care for patients, reduces the cost of health care, reduces medical errors and injuries, and encourages individual and professional advancement for nurses and other health professionals because it encourages research and educational progression. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognizes the fact that achieving a safe and quality-driven healthcare system in the United States by the year 2020 would require that 90% of clinical decisions must be supported by accurate, timely, and up-to-date clinical information, that will reflect the best evidence in clinical practice literature (Institute of Medicine, 2009). This is the concept of evidence-based practice.
However, according to HealthyPeople.gov, the United States is very far away at reaching this goal, at approximately 15%. Research has identified a number of individual and organizational obstacles limiting nursing practice from achieving this goal (e. g. Mahmoud and Abdelrasol, 2019; Solomons and Spross, 2011). These obstacles include inadequate time to read literature, intense workload, shortage of staff qualified in EBP, and shortage of nursing faculties to inculcate the knowledge of EBP in nurses. The shortage in the supply of nursing faculties is one significant barrier that is holding nursing practice from achieving the EBP goal. Nurses need to be trained in EBP, but the numbers of nursing instructors or faculties are limited due to inadequate remuneration. To address this obstacle, more nurses should be encouraged to seek educational advancements to the level of a PhD and their salaries must be reviewed upward.
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In addition to shortages in nursing faculties, shortage of the number of staff qualified in EBP is another barrier that might be holding nursing practice from achieving the EBP goal of 90% evidence-based practice by 2020. When there are no adequate nursing faculties to instill the knowledge of EBP in nurses, and when there is lack of funds for motivated nurses to pursue advance degrees, then it will be difficult to achieve the EBP goal, To address this obstacle, more funding should be made available for well motivated nurses in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships.
Institute of Medicine. (2009). Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK52847/
Matmoud, M. H., & Abdelrasol, M. (2019). Obstacles in Employing Evidence-Based Practice by Nurses in their Clinical Settings: A Descriptive Study. Frontiers of Nursing, 6(2); pp. 123-133.
Solomons, N. M., & Spross, J. A. (2011). Evidence-Based Practice Barriers and Facilitators from a Continuous Quality Improvement Perspective: An Integrative Review. Journal of Nursing Management, 19: 109-120
By using evidence-based practice (EBP), nurses are providing safe, quality patient care. Although all health care professionals would prefer using the latest, updated EBP for their practice, understanding and staying up-to-date on all the emerging EBP is impossible. According to Whitney (2018), nurses play a primary role in transforming how the health care system works for the community. Nurses need to take the time out of their work schedule and personal time to stay updated on the EBP which applies to their practice. This requires a lot of time and energy from the nurse and not all nurses have ample time to look into new research and EBP for their own scope of practice. Another issue for EBP practice to reach 90% is that the working environment is already fast paced for all nursing and changes that need to be made need to help the nurse stay efficient while providing safe patient care. If these changes are not fully understood by the administration implementing these changes, then the staffing runs into issues trying to adapt to the new changes based off EBP. The changes need to happen in proper steps so that the organization and the staff working directly for the organization are able to make the transition smooth and reliable for themselves and their patients.
Whitney, S. (2018). The future of nursing in an evolving health care system. In GCU’s (Eds.), Trends in health care: A nursing perspective. Retrieved from: https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs440vn/trends-in-health-care-a-nursing-perspective/v1.1/#/home