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Navigating the evidence-based practice maze


Kathy Hudson
The University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd
TX 75799


Aim  This article’s purpose is to provide nurses with key points to consider in facilitating informed decision making while navigating the evidence-based practice (EBP) maze.

Background  EBP in nursing evolved from the medical model and continues developing within the holistic nursing paradigm. Inconsistent terminology, multiple applications, and lack of a unifying theory create challenges for nurses.

Key issues  Recognition that multiple knowledge sources to support clinical decision making have merit for facilitating ‘best’ patient outcomes; EBP must be an internalized value of professional nursing.

Conclusions  Multiple ways of knowing, or evidence, for informed clinical decision making must be considered based on situational context. No hierarchy fits all situations. Nurses must provide support and resources to facilitate nurse empowerment; nurses are accountable for using EBP to enhance patient outcomes.

Implications for nursing management  Effective EBP implementation relies on nurses being cognizant of what current nursing EBP trends are based on and where they are going. Nurses have a key role in facilitating consensus regarding evidence to be used in EBP, and ensuring availability of resources for empowering nurses to be accountable for outcome-oriented patient care through utilizing EBP.