Recent research published in the Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA) confirms that nurses want to practice based on the best evidence but are not consistently putting that desire into action. Many challenges were identified by the national sample of nurses surveyed for the research study. These challenges may be even more acute in the correctional setting where resources can be lacking and technology limited.
Researchers found that evidence-based care is encouraged when there are strong beliefs that EBP improves patient care and outcomes and when there is an organizational culture that supports this care. If health care leadership does not understand EBP or believe that it will make a difference, the processes for this practice will not be created or supported. Knowledge and skills are needed to successfully implement evidence-based practices. This may require educational sessions and mentoring by nurse leaders. Organizational support can also include providing access to best practice databases and literature.
A major consideration in efforts to increase evidence-based nursing practice is time. Nurses rarely have work time allotted to searching and applying research findings. This is a perennial problem in every setting, including corrections. Even if time is available, sources of information may not be. Correctional nurses, in particular, have little access to medical libraries and online resources that are available to many nurses in traditional settings.
Correctional nurse leaders must rise up and provide the leadership and organizational support necessary to make EBP a reality for nurses practicing in jails and prisons. Are you applying evidence in nursing practice in your setting? Share your experiences in the comments section of this post.
Read more about Evidence-Based Nursing Practice in Chapter 18 from Essentials of Correctional Nursing. Order your copy directly from the publisher. Use promotional code AF1209 for $15 off and free shipping.
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