JOURNAL ARTICLE

The evidence-based practice profiles of academic and clinical staff involved in pre-registration nursing students' education: a cross sectional survey of US and UK staff

Penney Upton, Laura Scurlock-Evans, Kathleen Williamson, Joanne Rouse, Dominic Upton
Nurse Education Today 2015, 35 (1): 80-5
25027871

BACKGROUND: Competency in evidence-based practice (EBP) is a requirement for graduate nurses. Despite a growing body of research exploring the EBP profiles of students, little research has explored the EBP profiles of nurse educators.

OBJECTIVES: To explore: the differences/similarities in the EBP profiles of US and UK clinical and academic faculty; the barriers nurse educators experience when teaching EBP; the impact of postgraduate education on EBP profile and; what nurse educators perceive "success" in implementing and teaching EBP to be.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional online survey design was employed.

SETTINGS: Two Universities delivering undergraduate nursing education in the US and UK, in partnership with large hospital systems, small community hospitals, community settings, and independent sector health organisations.

PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-one nurse educators working in academic and clinical contexts in the US and UK (US academic=12, US clinical=17, UK academic=9, UK clinical=43) were recruited opportunistically.

METHODS: Participants were emailed a weblink to an online survey, comprising demographic questions, the Evidence-Based Practice Questionnaire and open-ended questions about EBP barriers, facilitators and successes.

RESULTS: Quantitative results indicated that academic faculty scored significantly higher on knowledge and skills of EBP, than clinical faculty, but revealed no other significant differences on EBP use or attitudes, or between US and UK professionals. Participants with postgraduate training scored significantly higher on EBP knowledge/skills, but not EBP attitudes or use. Qualitative findings identified key themes relating to EBP barriers and facilitators, including: Evidence-, organisational-, and teaching-related issues. Perceptions of successes in EBP were also described.

CONCLUSIONS: Nurse educators working in the UK and US face similar EBP barriers to teaching and implementation, but view it positively and use it frequently. Clinical staff may require extra support to maintain their EBP knowledge and skills in comparison to staff working in academic contexts.

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