Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses to Participate in Evidence Based Practice

Learning Objective #1: Describe an evidence-based assignment appropriate for undergraduate nursing students designed to enhance their evidence-based practice skills.

Learning Objective #2: Discuss students’ perceptions of their ability to engage in evidence-based activities as registered nurses.

Preparing baccalaureate degree nursing students to be able to participate in evidence-based practice after graduation is a challenge for nurse educators because of students’ focus on mastering knowledge and clinical skills. It is common knowledge that some of the barriers to evidence-based practice include registered nurses who find it difficult to read research articles, have limited skills in locating and critiquing research articles, and have limited interaction with nurse researchers and nurse clinicians. One approach to eliminating barriers is to prepare baccalaureate students with skills in identifying clinical problems, conducting in-depth reviews of the literature, learning the basics of critiquing research articles, determining the appropriateness of research findings, and developing beginning skills in participating in integrative reviews as registered nurses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Evidence-based Group Project Assignment in a research course to determine whether or not students gained needed skills to participate in evidence-based practice after graduation. IRB approval was obtained and the students were asked to complete a survey at the end of the course. The findings suggest in part that the students gained skills in better understanding the research process, identifying a clinical problem that needs to have evidence, conducting a review of literature, and critiquing research articles. The students also reported having confidence after graduation in identifying clinical problems, participating in an integrative review activity, and being better prepared to integrate evidence in their nursing practice. The Evidence-based Group Project Assignment can be replicated in other undergraduate nursing research courses. Further research is needed to determine if the Evidence-based Group Project Assignment could be modified to enhance graduate students’ skills in evidence-based practice.

Astrid H. Wilson, RN, DSN
WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA

Evidence-based education is becoming a standard for schools of nursing in the development of program policies. Particularly challenging is the identification of admission criteria to select applicants who will successfully complete the nursing program and pass. One program is conducting research exam, to drive policy development, an approach to select strong applicants, to lessen student attrition, and to sustain passing rates. As stated, Evidence-based education can be incorporated in the undergraduate nursing courses, despite the fact that much research is needed to confirm the effectivity of such strategy in instruction.

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