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Keywords:

  • capability beliefs;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • nursing students;
  • research utilization;
  • survey

florin j., ehrenberg a., wallin l. & gustavsson p. (2011) Educational support for research utilization and capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills: a national survey of senior nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing 68(4), 888–897.

Abstract

Aim.  The aim of the study was to investigate Swedish university nursing students’ experience of educational support for research utilization and capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills.

Background.  Nursing programmes are offered at 26 universities in Sweden and even though there are common regulations for nursing education at the national level, substantial variations are found in local curricula. Little is known about students’ capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills, particularly in comparison across universities.

Methods.  A cross-sectional survey design using self-administered postal questionnaires was conducted in 2006. A total of 1440 students (from 26 different universities) participated, constituting 68% of the national population of nursing students in their 6th and final semester.

Results.  Campus education supported the students to a greater extent than clinical education in following the development of knowledge in an area of interest, using research findings, and acquiring knowledge on how to pursue changes in clinical practice. Perceived support during campus education varied between universities. Students reported high capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills, but large differences were found between universities for: stating a searchable question, seeking out relevant knowledge and critically appraising and compiling best knowledge.

Conclusion.  The identified differences between universities concerning the students’ perceived support for research utilization and their capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills have implications for curricula, pedagogical perspectives in nursing education and the potential to implement evidence-based practice in healthcare settings. Further studies are warranted to investigate students’ individual characteristics and organizational characteristics as determinants of research utilization support and capability beliefs regarding evidence-based practice skills.