Nursing involves making difficult choices. Throughout your nursing career, you will encounter opportunities to make a powerful difference in your patients’ lives, and by using evidence-based practice (EBP), you can vastly improve their quality of life.
The online RN to BSN program at Purdue University Northwest will prepare you for using EBP in your nursing career. Here’s why evidence-based practice is a growing trend today.
What Is Evidence-Based Practice?
Evidence-based practice is quickly becoming the standard of nursing care. As such, it is important for students to understand what EBP is, why it is important and how to apply it in real-world situations.
According to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, “Evidence based practice is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care.” This is contrary to former methods of decision-making–top-down decision making and “business as usual” practices. For example, many clinical organizations base decisions about current cases on past patterns. However, just because something has been done a certain way for many years does not make it the right thing to do now or in a particular situation.
Rather, an evidence-based approach encourages you to examine the facts from reliable research before moving forward. In essence, evidence-based practice means basing your decisions on proof: that the path you are about to embark on is going to be the best one for your patient.
Why Does It Matter?
Evidence-based practice is crucial to the success of every aspect of nursing care. Thanks to astonishing advances in technology, nurses and doctors have access to a wealth of information from recent research studies. The research field has made incredible discoveries in the past few decades that have illuminated new understandings in medical knowledge.
Research is changing the way nurses and their patients handle complex health problems. For years, nurses recommended that patients suffering from cardiovascular problems stay away from eggs due to the patients’ high cholesterol levels. However, research has now shown that eating eggs regularly can improve metabolic and heart health. This is just one example of how recent evidence suggests that the old way of doing things is not necessarily the right way. Now that researchers are uncovering new information about health and disease, it is up to nurses to apply these discoveries to patient care.
How Can You Engage in Evidence-Based Practice?
Evidence-based practice is all about evaluating the current information. The first step in EBP is becoming familiar with the best sources for the latest research. The online RN to BSN program at Purdue University Northwest will introduce you to the world of nursing research with classes such as Conceptual and Theoretical Thinking in Nursing, Nursing Research and Nursing Informatics.
In addition to other valuable courses in the online RN to BSN program, these classes will allow you to become familiar with the best sources of evidence-based research and how to evaluate these studies. In the Conceptual and Theoretical Thinking in Nursing course, you will learn about the relationship between nursing knowledge, research and practice. The Nursing Research course will teach you about the research process and how you can use research to build a strong foundation in nursing care. You will learn how to distinguish between good and bad sources. Furthermore, the Nursing Informatics course will teach you about the science of information and how you can use it to discover relevant research that will inform your daily nursing practice.
With a strong understanding of nursing research, you can begin to engage in evidence-based nursing practice. The online RN to BSN program at Purdue University Northwest will give you the tools you need to succeed in your profession. As you move forward in your career, you can continue developing your evidence-based practice. It is important to stay current with the latest research and study critiques. As you read the latest studies, carefully consider the quality of the research methodology and the extent of the study’s external validity.
In combination with your familiarity of emerging research data, professional nursing organizations and evaluation reports can also enlighten your evidence-based practice with even more information. When you encounter a difficult case, consulting an expert for their opinion is another way to ensure you are using evidence-based practice in the decision making process.
As you progress through your academic and professional careers, you will encounter a lot of information about health, diseases and medical interventions. While some people may use other decision-making models, an exceptional nurse will use evidence-based practice. The online RN to BSN program at Purdue University Northwest will prepare you for the highest quality evidence-based practice.
Learn more about the Purdue Northwest online RN to BSN program.
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