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Evidence-Based Medicine Nursing Guide: Home

What is Evidence Based Nursing?

Evidence based medicine is defined as "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.  The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available clinical evidence from systematic research."
Quotation from:  Sacket, David L, et al. "Evidence Based Medicine:  What It Is and What It Isn't. "BMJ 1996; 312:  71-72.
Both EBM and EBN fall under the umbrella of evidence based practice.  However, nurses' approach to evidence based practice may differ from the standard biomedical model.  Typically, nurses are committed to provide holistic care; treating and working with patients rather than working on them.  Effectiveness of treatment is only one part of the clinical decision-making process: in deciding on therapeutic interventions, acceptability to the patient and cost-effectiveness are considered.
McSherry, Robert, (ed.) Evidence-informed nursing: a guide for clinical nurses.  London; New York; Routledge, 2002. pg. 7

Evidence Based Nursing is a Five-Step Process

The 5 "A's" will help to remember the EBN process:
1.   ASK:  Information needs from practice are converted into focused, structured questions.
2.   ACQUIRE:  The focused question are used as a basis for literature searching in order to identify relevant external evidence from research.
3.   APPRAISE:  The research evidence is critically appraised for validity.
4.   APPLY:  The best evidence is used alongside clinical expertise and the patient's perspective to plan care.
5.   ASSESS:  Performance is evaluated through a process of self reflection, audit, or peer assessment.

Why Evidence Based Nursing?

Evidence-based nursing is one approach that may enable nurses to manage the explosion of new literature and technology and ultimately may result in improved patient outcomes.
Evidence based practice (EBP) "involves an ability to access, summarize, and apply information from the literature to day-to-day clinical problems". Evidence based practice "requires an emphasis on systematic observation and experience and a reliance on the research literature to substantiate nursing decisions."
Quotations from:  Kessenich CR, "Teaching nursing students evidence-based nursing." Nurse Educator, Nov/Dec 1997, 22(6): 25-29.