Developing evidence-based clinicians


  • Maree Johnson RN, BAppSci(Cumb), MAppSci (Cumb), PhD (ANU),

    1. Research Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney (Macarthur), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rhonda Griffiths RN, CM, DipTeach (Ns), BEd (Ns), MSc(Hons), DrPh

    1. Professor of Nursing and Director, South Western Sydney Centre for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

, Professor Maree Johnson, c/o Centre for Applied Nursing Research, Liverpool Health Service, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871. Email:


Evidence-based care has heralded an advancement for health with extensive rhetoric and incentives encouraging clinicians to become active participants in practice change. This paper explores two mechanisms—research utilization and systematic reviews—as processes to develop empowerment in clinicians, and develop an ethos of basing practice on research. The intent of these approaches is to create an environment that enables clinicians to seek solutions to practice problems, inform practice decisions and develop practice policy using evidence from research. The goal is to develop evidence-based clinicians who remain active and interested in their practice and who are committed to promoting the application of research to practice. The strengths and weaknesses of these methods are explored within two case studies where they are applied to the management of hypothermia and the efficacy of postoperative observations. Key points of application for each of the methods are outlined in the conclusions.