Nursing Professional Development Evidence-Based Practice

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Evidence-based practice is “integrating the best available evidence with the healthcare educator’s expertise and the client’s needs while considering the practice environment. One of the roles of the NPD practitioner in the 2022 edition of the Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice is a champion for scientific inquiry. In this role, the NPD practitioner promotes a spirit of inquiry, the generation and dissemination of new knowledge, and the use of evidence to advance NPD practice, guide clinical practice, and improve the quality of care for the healthcare consumer/partner. Scholarly inquiry is a standard of practice within that role. It is defined as “The nursing professional development (NPD) practitioner integrates scholarship, evidence, and research findings into practice” (p. 104).

There is often confusion between quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and research. A seminal article by Shirey and colleagues. differentiated these three topics. Evidence-based practice is a systematic problem-solving approach that is evidence-driven and translates new knowledge into clinical, administrative, and educational practice. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is usually not required unless outcomes are intended for publication, or the project could potentially expose individuals to harm.

The EBP process, as defined by Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, includes seven steps:

  1. Encouraging and supporting a spirit of inquiry

  2. Asking questions

  3. Searching for evidence

  4. Appraising the evidence

  5. Integrating evidence into practice

  6. Evaluating outcomes

  7. Sharing results

Implementing EBP in practice has been shown to lead to a higher quality of care and better patient outcomes, but nurses encounter many barriers when implementing EBP. NPD practitioners can facilitate the implementation of EBP by ensuring a supportive environment for EBP, providing educational sessions to nurses about the EBP process, being role models, and mentoring nurses.

Publication types

  • Study Guide