Factors influencing the contribution of advanced practice nurses to promoting evidence-based practice among front-line nurses: findings from a cross-sectional survey

Authors


K. Gerrish: e-mail: k.gerrish@shu.ac.uk

Abstract

gerrish k., guillaume l., kirshbaum m., mcdonnell a., tod a. & nolan m. (2011) Factors influencing the contribution of advanced practice nurses to promoting evidence-based practice among front-line nurses: findings from a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(5), 1079–1090.

Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to identify factors influencing advanced practice nurses’ contribution to promoting evidence-based practice among front-line nurses.

Background.  Despite widespread recognition that care should be evidence-based, nurses experience challenges implementing evidence-based practice. As opinion leaders, advanced practice nurses can influence the practice of front-line nurses by promoting research use. Little is known about how advanced practice nurses use evidence and their influence on care given by front-line nurses.

Method.  A cross-sectional survey of 855 advanced practice nurses working in 87 hospital/primary care settings in England. The questionnaire examined understandings of evidence-based practice, sources of evidence used, ways of working with front-line nurses, perceived impact on front-line nurses, skills in evidence-based practice and barriers to promoting evidence-based practice. Data were collected in 2005 and analysed using descriptive statistics. Comparisons were made between advanced practice nurses with Masters qualifications and those with lower qualifications.

Findings.  Advanced practice nurses used different sources of evidence. They engaged in various activities to promote evidence-based practice and had a positive influence on front-line nurses’ practice. Advanced practice nurses’ skills in evidence-based practice varied with few considering themselves expert. Advanced practice nurses with Masters qualifications perceived themselves to be more skilled in all aspects of evidence-based practice than those with lower qualifications.

Conclusion.  Advanced practice nurses are well placed as clinical leaders to promote evidence-based practice by frontline nurses but require further development of their skills in evidence-based practice. In order to maximize their potential, advanced practice nurses require Master’s preparation.

Ancillary