Evidence-Based Practice

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EBP:Definition & Explanation
As I go through my research regarding evidence-based practice and its importance to my profession, I came to encounter different authors who had stated numerous definitions and explanations for the term. One definition that succinctly captures the essence of evidence-based practice (EBP) is that of Ingersoll’s (2000). She defines EBP as, “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of a theory-derived, research-based information in making decisions about care delivery to individuals or group of patients and in consideration of individual needs and preferences”. This means that EBP is a process involving the examination and application of research findings or other reliable evidence that has been integrated with scientific theories. For nurses to participate in this process, they must use their critical thinking skills to review research publications and other sources of information. After the information is evaluated, nurses use their clinical decision-making skills to apply evidence to patient care. As in all nursing care, patient preferences and needs are the basis of care decisions and therefore essential to EBP. In general, the term “EBP” describes a model of care whereby nurses, using current evidence on research knowledge, make decisions using clinical expertise and patient preferences to guide patient care. The University of Minnesota (2001) has on their web site the following definition of evidence-based care: ”Evidence Based Nursing is the process by which nurses make clinical decisions using the best available research evidence, their clinical expertise and the health care preferences of their clients”. Although EBNP may be based on factors other that research findings, such as patient preferences and the expertise of clinicians, the aim of EBNP is to provide the best possible care based on the best available research.

EBP is nothing new to nurses. Florence Nightingale, through her use of meticulous...
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