Background: Clinical guidelines have the potential to ensure that a research knowledge base underpins practice. Their development nationally and locally has increased dramatically in recent years. The challenge lies in implementing them. This literature review of guideline implementation was conducted to inform the development of implementation strategies for the Royal College of Nursing national clinical guidelines.
Conclusion: The evidence base for guideline implementation is still developing and many ideas and strategies require further testing. Although strategies can be developed around some core principles, as yet there is no single definitive strategy. This selective literature review offers some insight into successful implementation strategies.