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Keywords:

  • evidence-based practice;
  • nurses;
  • readiness;
  • beliefs;
  • skills;
  • resources;
  • survey

ABSTRACT

Background

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is essential to the improvement of patient outcomes and the quality of care. Nurses’ use of evidence in practice, however, remains limited. Assessing nurses’ readiness for EBP where it is not as prominent as in countries leading EBP research was of particular interest.

Purpose

To determine Icelandic registered nurses’ (RNs’) ability to provide care based on evidence as measured by their beliefs, perception of skills, and access to resources associated with EBP.

Methods

A descriptive survey was used in which a random sample of 540 Icelandic RNs completed the translated and modified version of the Information Literacy for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice and the translated EBP Beliefs Scale. Descriptive statistics, correlations, chi-square tests, t tests and one-way ANOVAs were used to analyze the data.

Results

Participants strongly believed in the value of EBP for patient care, but were less confident regarding their own knowledge and skills needed for EBP. Most (82%) of the respondents (i.e., RNs) turned to peers when in need of information, rather than peer-reviewed resources. Although over half of the RNs (54%) had received instructions in the use of electronic databases, only a third indicated success in using them. They considered “lack of search skills” as the primary barrier to use of research in practice. Using research findings in practice was associated with positive EBP beliefs, familiarity with EBP and other EBP-related activities. Clinical RNs were found to be at a disadvantage when it came to access to EBP-related resources and participated less frequently in EBP-related activities other than using research in practice.

Conclusion and Implications

Icelandic RNs’ beliefs regarding EBP are similar to those of RNs in other countries. Their access to EBP resources is generally good, but they lack the skills and knowledge needed for EBP. Strategies aimed at changing the organizational and practice context need to be developed.