Background: Implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) is necessary for healthcare systems to improve quality, safety, patient outcomes, and costs. Yet, EBP competency is lacking in many nurses and clinicians across the country.
Aim: The purpose of this initiative was to determine whether nursing teams (Executive Leader, Clinical/Mid-level Leader, and Direct Care Nurse) attending a 5-day EBP continuing education skill-building program (immersion) was an effective strategy to build EBP competence, practice, and culture sustainability over time. The Advancing Research and Clinical Practice Through Close Collaboration Model was used to guide this initiative.
Methods: A project team was assembled, including leaders with EBP expertise from the Air Force Medical Service and The Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for EBP in Nursing and Healthcare at The Ohio State University. Five survey instruments were used to evaluate outcomes, including Organizational Culture and Readiness for System-Wide Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice, Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs, Evidence-Based Practice Implementation, and Evidence-Based Practice Competencies, as well as the Knowledge Assessment Questionnaire test. Nursing teams were invited to participate and complete the program with the implementation of EBP projects over the following year.
Results: Participants' EBP knowledge, skills, competencies, and beliefs were significantly improved and sustained over 12 months.
Linking evidence to action: A team-based EBP skill-building program was an effective strategy for building EBP competence, practice, and culture. This initiative demonstrated that the direct involvement of leadership and infrastructure to support EBP were crucial factors for building and sustaining an EBP culture.
Keywords: EBP councils; EBP mentors; competency; evidence-based practice; leadership; nurses; teams.
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