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Keywords:

  • Evidence-based practice;
  • evidence-based medicine;
  • EBP steps;
  • practitioner

Abstract

Purpose: Evidence-based practice (EBP) continues to gain momentum within health care. The purpose of this four-part EBP series is to provide an introductory overview of the EBP process, emphasizing EBP steps one through three, in order to assist nurse practitioners (NPs) in building EBP skills that can be integrated into clinical practice. The relevance of EBP to the NP's clinical practice, an introduction to the EBP process steps, and clinical inquiry process begin the series.

Data sources: Scientific literature review, gray literature, and online evidence-based practice databases and resources.

Conclusions: EBP has become increasingly important to NPs, yet there is evidence suggesting it is not being fully implemented in clinical practice. EBP is one way to keep the busy NP's knowledge up to date, enhance clinical judgment, and augment the existing provider–client decision-making process.

Implications for practice: The principles of EBP have become the cornerstone strategy for NPs to translate research findings into clinical practice. Practicing in an ever-changing healthcare environment, NPs have a responsibility to provide their clients with the best available evidence, while incorporating that evidence into the provider–client decision-making process.