Practical steps for evidence-based practice: putting one foot in front of the other.
Evidence-based practice is a goal for all institutions and often an accreditation requirement. However, moving forward to "just do it" poses a problem for nurses in most patient care units. In spite of increased focus on evidence-based practice initiatives, creation of a systematic approach that effectively integrates the evidence for our practice into the minute-by-minute activities of patient care is still needed. In this article, the steps for accomplishing evidence-based practice in the clinical area are described, beginning with establishing a system to identify, evaluate, and prioritize clinical questions and existing research. Although conducting new, unit-based nursing research may seem a distant goal, beginning with initiatives to increase the use of existing evidence in practice is a first step to this goal, one that contributes to professional development and improved patient outcomes.
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