The Institute of Medicine’s goal of having 90% of healthcare practice evidence-based by 2020 has not been fully realized. HealthyPeople.gov currently shows that the United States has a rate of 15%. The low adoption rate is due to a variety of barriers in nursing practice. This goal is hindered by two major barriers: a lack of relevant evidence, and a dearth of knowledge and skills that will allow you to use research findings in your clinical practice.
Access to the right evidence is the first obstacle to evidence-based practices. Many nurses have difficulty accessing databases or research articles. This is why nurses in rural areas are often more at risk. This access requires technical skills, financial support, computer system access, and financial support. These resources require that nurses have skills in accessing and critically evaluating evidence. Some nurses might not have received formal training. In clinical practice, evidence could not be used in the right way.
A second obstacle is insufficient knowledge and skills needed to implement research findings into clinical practice. A lack of exposure to research may make it difficult for nurses to apply and understand research findings. It could result in a loss of confidence when using research findings to guide clinical decisions. Nurses may not be aware of the benefits of evidence-based practices, and this could limit their willingness or ability to spend the effort required to implement new methods.
There are many strategies that can be used to get around these obstacles. The first is to offer continuing education opportunities and training opportunities for nurses so that they have more access to evidence-based information. These programs are designed to help nurses acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to critically evaluate, apply, and access research results in their clinical practice. Online programs are also available, which may make it easier for rural nurses to access these training programs.
A second option is for hospitals to encourage the creation of nurse research teams. This can help nurses integrate evidence into their clinical practice through education and mentorship. Nurses may feel more comfortable applying evidence in their clinical practice if there is greater availability of expertise.
Health organizations may also consider using guidelines for clinical practice that are evidence-based. Guidelines can help nurses access evidence and make clinical decisions more efficiently by providing a standardised approach. Online platforms and other communication methods make it easy to share guidelines with nursing staff.
Conclusion: Despite the many benefits of evidence-based nursing, there are still significant obstacles that prevent it from being adopted by nurses. Two major barriers are the inaccessibility to evidence-based practice and insufficient knowledge and skills required to use research findings for clinical practice. To achieve the Institute of Medicine’s goal of having 90% of practice evidence-based by 2020, it is crucial to address these barriers. Strategies like continuing education and training opportunities for nurses, the development of nurse research teams, or using evidence-based guidelines in clinical practice can help improve the use and understanding of evidence.