From the staff development bookshelf: Evidence-based staff development

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 29, 2011

It is important to differentiate between evidence-based clinical practice and evidence-based staff development practice. The concept of evidence is obviously critical to both. However, some healthcare professionals may believe that evidence-based practice (EBP) is only valid in clinical situations. EBP is appropriate to any setting. It implies that the effectiveness of a department is continually assessed and that such assessment leads to ongoing efforts to improve products and services.

EBP in staff development is the process of using "best practice" evidence to close the gap between actual staff development practice and the identified best practices. But where are those practices to be found? There is a significant lack of staff development research. Without such research, best practices are difficult to identify.

It is, however, possible to use the evidence already available in our various practices. This is not to discount the need for formal research. We can organize the data we have, both to identify best practice methods and to formulate staff development research studies.

Needs assessment data and evaluation data can form the foundation of initial EBP in staff development.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Evidence-Based Practice in Staff Development: Strategies to Create, Measure, and Refine Your Program by Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN.

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