Implementing evidence based-practice and research findings into nursing care has been identified as a challenge to nursing staff. This article identifies key barriers to the use of research in the international literature, however, there are limited suggestions as to how to improve this in the clinical arena. This article aims to identify how nurses could optimize the implementation of evidence and research into their clinical care and reviews barriers to implementing and undertaking nursing research, suggesting a framework for improvement. It considers the widely varied levels of knowledge of research and equally varied critical appraisal skills present both at a pre and post-registration nursing level. The authors discuss an innovative, collaborative approach that considers the role of the nurse consultant, clinical academic and research facilitator posts. To ensure quality evidence-based practice is implemented into clinical nursing care a realistic and practical structure must be applied. With the appropriate framework, clinical structure and organizational support, promotion of evidence-based practice and research for patient benefit can be optimized. The implications for practice are also discussed. The implementation of a realistic research framework into clinical nursing practice has the potential to influence and develop a more active nursing research culture and promote evidence-based care within the workplace.