Views on evidence from nursing and midwifery opinion leaders

Churchill Livingstone
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2009, 29 (8), pp. 829 - 834
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National registration standards in Australia require nurses and midwives to be educationally prepared to use an evidence-based framework for their practice. These standards assume a shared professional understanding of evidence and, an agreed approach towards educational preparation for evidence implementation. In this study, a qualitative phenomenographic approach is used to explore the ways in which nursing opinion leaders understand `evidence within the context of evidence-based practice (EBP). Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 23 nursing and midwifery opinion leaders across the state of New South Wales, Australia. The findings suggest that views of evidence are deeply imbedded within individual clinical, contextual and professional experiences, and are highly variable. Establishing basic consensus on the meaning of evidence for the nursing and midwifery context is fundamental to the successful educational preparation of nurses and midwives for EBP. It is proposed that future evaluations of EBP education in nursing and midwifery examine the assumptions on which such programs are based as individual variation may be a significant factor in both defining and measuring the success of educational interventions for evidence implementation.
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