Implications of a wide-scale educational intervention to engage nurses in evidence-based practice: The Italian RN4CAST experience

Nurs Forum. 2019 Apr;54(2):183-191. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12313. Epub 2019 Jan 10.


Background: In Italy, there are still many barriers to the development of a culture of evidence-based practice (EBP) and nurses' knowledge of EBP is lacking. Additionally, in Italy there are still very few advanced practice registered nurses to significantly contribute to the development of EBP.

Aim: This aims to identify the implications of a wide-scale nursing education intervention to engage clinical nurses in EBP through the Italian RN4CAST study.

Methods: A qualitative study based on a thematic analysis. A total of 800 clinical nurses actively participated in nine training sessions across Italy. At the end of each training session written feedback data were collected and then underwent thematic analysis.

Results: All participants were strongly motivated to engage in EBP thanks to their involvement in the RN4CAST project. With regard to the implications of EBP, the thematic analysis produced the following themes: Professional identity; Quality of care; Perceptions of patients and nurses; Research impact; and Organization.

Conclusions: The involvement of a large number of clinical nurses in a research project raised their awareness about the advantages of engaging in EBP, and how evidence can be used to raise motivation to change current practice policies.

Keywords: evidence-based practice; motivation; organization; patient outcomes; policy; professional identity; staffing; thematic analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Nursing / education*
  • Evidence-Based Nursing / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Workload