The Australian experience of nurses' preparedness for evidence-based practice

Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Nursing Management, 2009, 17 (4), pp. 510 - 518
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Aim This study aimed to determine current knowledge and attitudes towards evidence-based practice (EBP) among pre- and post-registration nurses in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Background Educational and clinical strategies for EBP in nursing assume a readiness to interpret and integrate evidence into clinical care despite continued reports of low levels of understanding and skill in this area. Method Perceptions of EBP were examined through a self-complete, anonymous postal survey distributed to 677 (post-registration) clinical nurses and to 1134 final year (pre-registration) nursing students during 2002 and 2003. Results A completed survey was returned by 126 post-registration and 257 final year nursing students (combined 21% response rate). Both pre- and post-registration nurses had a welcoming attitude towards EBP. Pre-registration nurses expressed more confidence in their EBP skills but self-rated knowledge and skill were low to moderate in both groups. Conclusion Nurses in Australia are clearly supportive of EBP but it is incorrect to assume that even recent graduates have a level of knowledge and skill that is sufficient to permit direct engagement in evidence implementation.
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