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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 2, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 28
Fostering Evidence-Based Nursing Requires Top-Level Support

Evidence-based nursing practice — making clinical decisions based on the best available research and experiential evidence — is associated with better care outcomes for patients and a higher perception of autonomy by nurses. As more schools of nursing teach and encourage evidence-based practice, Johns Hopkins faculty member Robin P. Newhouse cautions that postgraduate education to train clinicians alone is insufficient to change skills, attitudes and behaviors. She urges that health care organizations — with the active, continued involvement and support of nurse-leaders in those organizations — create environments where EBP can flourish.

In "Creating Infrastructure Supportive of Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Leadership Strategies," published this month in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, Newhouse points out that EBP can only become everyday practice if leaders plan strategically and provide the organizational structure and processes needed to support it.

In a second article, "Collaborative Synergy — Practice and Academic Partnerships in Evidence-Based Practice," which appears in the March Journal of Nursing Administration, Newhouse describes how an academic institution might negotiate a student clinical placement contract with a health care organization in which one outcome of the partnership is an EBP project, such as an integrative review or the development of practice guidelines. Conversely, the partnering health care organization can influence the content of courses through discussions with academic leaders about important clinical and administrative practice issues that can be incorporated into EBP assignments in academic classes.

"Academic and clinical partnership in EBP can result in a win-win for health care organizations and universities, developing nurse leaders, nursing administrators and educators," Newhouse said.


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