Nursing

Expert spotlight: Project pointers for evidence-based practice

Nurse Leader Insider, January 19, 2009

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This week, expert Suzanne C. Beyea, RN, PhD, FAAN, director of nursing research at the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging in Lebanon, NH provides some guidance for conducting evidence-based practice (EBP) projects.

Q: The nursing research council at my facility is trying to pinpoint topics that should be addressed with EBP. How should we go about identifying areas of concern?

A: Staff nurses must be active participants in identifying clinical questions that can be solved or addressed with EBP. Although faculty members, advanced practice nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nursing leaders, and researchers can facilitate the process, they should not dictate the topics to be investigated. Staff nurses need to identify and prioritize the topics of interest to help ensure excitement, acceptance, and application at the bedside. Initially, topics should be broad and do not have to be written as a focused EBP or research question.

The EBP/nursing research council can serve as the starting point for dialogue. One approach to help identify topic areas is to ask nurses to:

  • Identify nursing activities they believe are a waste of time or that seem futile
  • Describe a nursing practice based on myth or tradition
  • Discuss a gap between practice and a recently published research article
  • Question a specific nursing technique or procedure
  • Describe a nursing intervention that results in more harm or waste than benefit
  • Identify a patient problem that is costly or otherwise wastes resources


Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to editor Keri Mucci at kmucci@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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