Leadership facilitation strategies to establish evidence-based practice in an acute care hospital


S. Hauck: e-mail: shauck@stmarys.org


hauck s., winsett r.p. & kuric j. (2013) Leadership facilitation strategies to establish evidence-based practice in an acute care hospital. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(3), 664–674. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06053.x


Aim.  To assess the impact of leadership facilitation strategies on nurses’ beliefs of the importance and frequency of using evidence in daily nursing practice and the perception of organizational readiness in an acute care hospital.

Background.  Integrating evidence in practice is a prominent issue for hospital nursing as knowledge and skills, beliefs, organizational infrastructure and nursing leadership must all be addressed.

Design.  Prospective, descriptive comparative.

Method.  Three surveys were used in this prospective descriptive comparative study. Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs Scale, the Implementation Scale and Organizational Culture & Readiness for System-Wide Integration Survey measured change before and after facilitating strategies for evidence-based practice enculturation. Data were collected in December 2008 (= 427) and in December 2010 (= 469).

Results.  Leadership facilitated infrastructure development in three major areas: incorporating evidence-based practice outcomes in the strategic plan; supporting mentors; and advocating for resources for education and outcome dissemination. With the interventions in place, the total group scores for beliefs and organizational readiness improved significantly. Analyses by job role showed that direct care nurses scores improved more than other role types. No differences were found in the implementation scores.

Conclusion.  Successful key strategies were evidence-based practice education and establishing internal opportunities to disseminate findings. Transformational nursing leadership drives organizational change and provides vision, human and financial resources and time that empowers nurses to include evidence in practice.