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Keywords:

  • clinical nurses;
  • concept analysis;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • focus groups;
  • ward-based clinical librarians

Aim.  The aim of this study was to explore nurses’ and ward-based clinical librarians’ reflections on ward-based clinical librarians as facilitators for nurses’ use of evidences-based practice.

Background.  Nurses’ use of evidence-based practice is reported to be weak. Studies have suggested that clinical librarians may promote evidence-based practice. To date, little is known about clinical librarians participating nurses in the wards.

Design.  A descriptive, qualitative design was adopted for the study.

Method.  In 2007, 16 nurses who had been attended by a clinical librarian in the wards were interviewed in focus groups. Two clinical librarians were interviewed by individual interviews. In the analysis, a content analysis was used.

Results.  Three themes were generated from the interviews with nurses: ‘The grip of everyday work’, ‘To articulate clinical nursing issues’ and ‘The clinical librarians at a catalyst’. The nurses experienced the grip of everyday work as a hindrance and had difficulties to articulate and formulate relevant nursing issues. In such a state, the nurses found the clinical librarian presence in the ward as enhancing the awareness of and the use of evidence-based practice. Three themes emerged from the analysis with the librarians. They felt as outsiders, had new knowledge and acquired a new role as ward-based clinical librarians.

Conclusions.  Facilitation is needed if nurses’ evidence-based practice is going to increase. The combined use of nurses and clinical librarians’ knowledge and skills can be optimised. To achieve this, nurses’ skills in consuming and implementing evidence ought to be strengthened.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The fusion of the information and knowledge management skill of the ward-based clinical librarian and the clinical expertise of the nurses can be of value. With such a collaborative model, nurse and ward-based clinical librarian might join forces to increase the use of evidence-based practice.