Promoting the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice: A Literature Review Focusing on the Role of Nursing Leadership

Authors

  • Boel Sandström RN, BSc, MSc,

    1. Boel Sandström,Doctoral student, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science and Blekinge Centre of Competence, Karlskrona, Sweden and University of Lund, Sweden; Gunilla Borglin,Senior Lecturer, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden; Roland Nilsson, Registered Nurse, Department of Anaesthesia, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden; Ania Willman, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gunilla Borglin RN, BSc, MSc, PhD,

    1. Boel Sandström,Doctoral student, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science and Blekinge Centre of Competence, Karlskrona, Sweden and University of Lund, Sweden; Gunilla Borglin,Senior Lecturer, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden; Roland Nilsson, Registered Nurse, Department of Anaesthesia, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden; Ania Willman, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roland Nilsson RN, BSc, MSc,

    1. Boel Sandström,Doctoral student, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science and Blekinge Centre of Competence, Karlskrona, Sweden and University of Lund, Sweden; Gunilla Borglin,Senior Lecturer, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden; Roland Nilsson, Registered Nurse, Department of Anaesthesia, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden; Ania Willman, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ania Willman RN, BSc, PhD

    1. Boel Sandström,Doctoral student, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science and Blekinge Centre of Competence, Karlskrona, Sweden and University of Lund, Sweden; Gunilla Borglin,Senior Lecturer, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden; Roland Nilsson, Registered Nurse, Department of Anaesthesia, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden; Ania Willman, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, Karlskrona, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

  • We would like to thank RN Ann-Sofie Strandberg and Professor Heidi Hansson for valuable input during this study.

  • [Correction added after online publication 14-Mar-2011: The spelling of the first author's name has been updated.]

Boel Sandström, Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science, SE-371 79 Karlskrona, Sweden; boel.sandstrom@ltblekinge.se

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Despite a growing interest in evidence-based practice (EBP), the implementation into clinical practice of knowledge derived from research has proved to be a cumbersome process. Additionally, the literature seems to present a fragmented picture with research mainly focusing on a few factors of possible importance, among which leadership appears to be one of the more important. Thus, this study aimed to systematically review the literature regarding leadership and its possible influence on the process of implementing EBP.

Approach: A literature review was conducted. Electronic database searches were conducted to identify studies on leadership, administrators, managers, implementation, evidence-based and nursing. The search identified 43 potentially relevant papers, of which 36 were excluded after an appraisal was performed by two independent reviewers. Results were extracted and synthesised into a narrative text.

Findings: Seven papers were included in the literature review. The findings can be divided into three major areas: (1) characteristics of the leader, (2) characteristics of the organisation and (3) characteristics of the culture. Our findings indicate that leadership is vital for the process of implementing EBP in nursing and also highlights the possible importance of the organisation and the culture in which the leader operates. These factors together with their characteristics were interpreted to be intrinsic in the creation of a nursing milieu that is open and responsive to the implementation of EBP.

Conclusions: Although there seems to be scholarly agreement that leadership is a vital part of the process of implementing EBP, more rigorous research is needed concerning the possible role of the leader. Our findings also indicate that leadership cannot be studied in isolation or without being clearly defined.

Ancillary