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The goal of this guide is to serve as an introduction to Evidence Based Nursing. 

This guide is not intended to serve strictly as a teaching module on EBN. The resources mentioned and the site layout may be helpful for those desiring to learn more about the topic and may be a useful starting point in the creation of a more expansive and in-depth teaching tutorial.

The site is aimed at students of Jacksonville University, and therefore includes links to journals, databases, and resources that may only be accessed by affiliates of JU.

What is Evidence Based Nursing?

Definitions of evidence based nursing have varied in scholarly literature. Scott & McSherry's extensive literature review looked at commonalities between EBN definitions and synthesized them to come up with the following definition: 

"An ongoing process by which evidence, nursing theory and the practitioners’ clinical expertise are critically evaluated and considered, in conjunction with patient involvement, to provide delivery of optimum nursing care for the individual."

Scott, K. & McSherry, R. "Evidence Based Nursing: clarifying the concepts for nurses in practice." Journal of Clinical Nursing 2009; 18(8): 1085-95.

Evidence Based Practice Databases

Below are databases that focus specifically on Evidence Based Practice.

Why Evidence Based Nursing

Evidence based nursing is one approach that may enable nurses to manage the explosion of new literature and technology and ultimately may result in improved patient outcomes.

Nursing students spend a great deal of preclinical preparation time designing care plans, reviewing pathophysiology, and memorizing pharmacologic interactions. Although these activities are useful, they cannot be the only methods of preparing students for nursing practice.

Sole reliance on textbooks and expert faculty knowledge does not promote the critical thinking skills that nurses must have to survive in the current fast-paced clinical settings. Students must learn to develop independent, evidence-based methods of clinical decision making. Both medical and nursing professionals have explored this change in healthcare practice, research and knowledge development, a paradigm shift called "evidence based practice."

Evidence based practice (EBP) "involves an ability to access, summarize, and apply information from the literature to day-to-day clinical problems". Evidence based practice "requires an emphasis on systematic observation and experience and a reliance on the research literature to substantiate nursing decisions." Evidence based practice allows practitioners to meet a daily need for valid information about clinical situations.

Evidence based practice allows nurses to enrich their clinical training and experience with up to date research. With the large amount of research and information that exists in nursing, learning the skills of evidence based practice allows nurses to search for, assess, and apply the literature to their clinical situations.

Kessenich CR, "Teaching nursing students evidence-based nursing." Nurse Educator, Nov/Dec 1997, 22(6): 25-29.