Nursing practice, knowledge, attitudes and perceived barriers to evidence-based practice at an academic medical center

J Adv Nurs. 2009 Feb;65(2):371-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04878.x. Epub 2008 Nov 27.


Aim: This paper is a report of a study to describe nurses' practices, knowledge, and attitudes related to evidence-based nursing, and the relation of perceived barriers to and facilitators of evidence-based practice.

Background: Evidence-based practice has been recognized by the healthcare community as the gold standard for the provision of safe and compassionate healthcare. Barriers and facilitators for the adoption of evidence-based practice in nursing have been identified by researchers. Healthcare organizations have been challenged to foster an environment conducive to providing care based on evidence and not steeped in ritualized practice.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional research study was conducted in 2006-2007 with a convenience sample of 458 nurses at an academic medical center in California (response rate 44.68%). Two reliable and valid questionnaires were electronically formatted and administered using a secured website. Relationships between responses to the two instruments were examined and results compared with previously published data.

Results: Organizational barriers (lack of time and lack of nursing autonomy) were the top perceived barriers. Facilitators were learning opportunities, culture building, and availability and simplicity of resources. Statistically significant correlations were found between barriers and practice, knowledge and attitudes related to evidence-based practice.

Conclusion: Similar barriers to the adoption of evidence-based practice have been identified internationally. Educators must work with managers to address organizational barriers and proactively support evidence-based practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • California
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine* / education
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Research / education
  • Nursing Staff
  • Surveys and Questionnaires