Inside best practice: The language of research

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, March 1, 2010

Why do we struggle to understand the difference between evidence-based practice and nursing research? It is often a matter of education and experience—and learning a foreign language.

“A lot of nurses know research, but haven’t done research,” says Marquetta Flaugher, ARNP-BC, DSN, an advanced practice nurse with Bay Pines VA Hospital, Bay Pines, FL. “If you don’t understand the concepts and rules of research, there’s potential for confusion.”

Not all staff members have the background to immediately differentiate between the two. It’s a matter of education.

“If you don’t understand research then levels of study won’t make sense… if you don’t have the foundation on research, it’s hard to use it in evidence-based practice,” says Flaugher.

Research is generating new knowledge about a phenomenon or validating existing knowledge, she explains. While evidence-based practice may have opinion—expert opinion, but opinion still—woven in, research is built in such a way to avoid bias in any way.

“Research is pretty cut and dry,” says Flaugher. “You take so many safeguards against bias.”

Source: This excerpt is from the February issue of HCPro’s Advisor to the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®. Don’t have a subscription? Take a look at the benefits of becoming a member of HCPro’s Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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