Eviteach: A study exploring ways to optimise the uptake of evidence-based practice to undergraduate nurses

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Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2014, 14 (6), pp. 598 - 604
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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. EVITEACH aimed to increase undergraduate nursing student's engagement with evidence-based practice and enhance their knowledge utilisation and translation capabilities. Building students capabilities to apply evidence in professional practice is a fundamental university role. Undergraduate nursing students need to actively engage with knowledge utilisation and translational skill development to narrow the evidence practice gap in the clinical setting.A two phase mixed methods study was undertaken over a three year period (2008-2010, inclusive) utilizing a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) approach. Three undergraduate nursing cohorts (N=188) enrolled in a compulsory knowledge translation and utilisation subject at one Australian university participated. Data collection comprised of subject evaluation data and reflective statements.Preliminary investigations identified priority areas related to subject: materials, resources, teaching and workload. These priority areas became the focus of action for two PDSA cycles. PDSA cycle 1 demonstrated significant improvement of the subject overall (p>0.05), evaluation of the materials used (p>0.001) and teaching sub-groups (p>0.05). PDSA cycle 2 continued to sustain improvement of the subject overall (p>0.05). Furthermore reflective statements collected during PDSA cycle 2 identified four themes: 1) What engages undergraduate nurses in the learning process; 2) The undergraduate nurses learning trajectory; 3) Undergraduate nurses' preconceptions of research and evidenced-based practice; and 4) Appreciating the importance of research and evidence-based practice to nursing.There is little robust evidence to guide the most effective way to build knowledge utilisation and translational skills. Effectively engaging undergraduate nursing students in knowledge translation and utilisation subjects could have immediate and long term benefits for nursing as a profession and patient outcomes. Developing evidence-based practice capabilities is important in terms of improving patient outcomes, organisational efficiencies and creating satisfying work environments.
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