It is clear from the nursing literature that there are a number of factors which can impede or facilitate the use of research in practice. It is important that these are identified and addressed, both at local and national levels, if evidence-based practice is to become a reality. This study surveyed nurses' perceptions of barriers to, and facilitators of, research utilization. The Barriers Scale was administered to a convenience sample of 2600 nurses in 23 hospitals in Northern Ireland. The number of completed questionnaires was 1368 (52.6%). The results show that the top barrier was 'The nurse does not feel she/he has enough authority to change patient procedures' followed by 'statistical analyses are not understandable'. Seven out of the top 10 barriers were related to 'setting'. The implications of these and other findings are discussed.