Effectiveness of an evidence-based practice (EBP) course on the EBP competence of undergraduate nursing students: A quasi-experimental study

Nurse Educ Today. 2016 Mar;38:82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2015.12.012. Epub 2015 Dec 20.


Background: International nursing institutions and experts recommend evidence-based practice (EBP) as a core component of the curriculum for nurses. However, the impact of EBP training on the competence of undergraduate nursing students remains unclear.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of an EBP course on the EBP competence undergraduate nursing students'.

Design: Quasi-experimental study carried out in non-randomized intervention and control groups.

Settings: The study was conducted in a Spanish public university in 2010.

Participants: Out of 420 second- and third-year nursing students, 75 were enrolled in the EBP course, forming the intervention group, and 73 were not enrolled in this course were recruited as controls.

Procedure: The educational intervention was a 15-week course designed to teach EBP competence. The EBP Competence Questionnaire (EBP-COQ) was administered before and after the intervention. Repeated-measure ANOVA was used to compare intervention and control group scores before and at two months after the 15-week intervention period.

Results: At 2months after the EBP course, mean EBP-COQ scores of the intervention group were significantly improved versus baseline in attitude (4.28 vs. 3.33), knowledge (3.92 vs. 2.82) and skills (4.01 vs. 2.75) dimensions, whereas little change was observed in control group scores over the same time period. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a significant effect of Time ×Group interaction on global competence and all three EBP-COQ dimensions.

Discussions: Undergraduate nursing students experience positive changes in EBP competence, knowledge, skills, and attitude as the result of a 15-week educational intervention on EBP. This EBP course may provide nursing school educators and policymakers with a useful model for integrating EBP teaching within the nursing curriculum.

Keywords: Baccalaureate nursing education; Curriculum; Evidence-based practice; Nursing education research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Educational Measurement
  • Evidence-Based Nursing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Spain
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult