EBP Practice Environments

29 Apr

     Nurses who feel supported are more likely to use evidence-based practice (EBP) because it is important to feel like we are doing the right thing and we have people to back us up.  EBP is the right thing to be doing if there is strong evidence behind the policy or practice that proves patient well-being.  We want the best for our patients, so I feel that if the hospital and unit supported EBP efforts then these measures would be used more often by the nurses.  The same goes for the unit support.  The support of the people working directly above staff nurses, such as the nursing director and charge nurses, are important as well.  Knowing that they support this practice and have the resources readily available for use will help the nurses on the floor or unit practice without any inhibitions.  Of course, it all comes down to the individual.  If the individual nurse does not support their own efforts or other nurses’ efforts to implement EPB into their job, then no one can help them.  Possibly, they have worked in an environment where this was condoned and the nurses were only able to operate under the hospitals policies which were not evidenced-based.  Individual nurses like this may need additional resources to turn to for advice on practice standards and standing up for EBP.

     The culture on the floor or unit also has an effect on the measures to use or promote EBP.  The values and beliefs of the unit drive the importance of measures of practice.  Usually, those who stay on a unit for a long time may develop the environmental culture of their coworkers.  Some employers will not hire individuals who may go against the culture on the unit and/or disrupt its flow.  Depending on the unit or their boss’s overall attitude towards the use of EBP will change the confidence of a nurse who is going against the grain.  If EBP is not widely accepted, they may fall back on the idea to have the support of their coworkers.  For an individual to thrive they must be prosperous and successful.  To achieve this, it would be necessary to use EBP.  The same goes for a unit.  But in order for a unit to thrive, the coworkers who make it up must have the same motivation to thrive.  The use of EBP by all coworkers may be enough to make this change.  The group as a whole could innovate their future as a thriving unit within a thriving hospital system.

     Innovation is defined as the introduction of something new.  Selman (n.d.) has an excellent breakdown of this meaning, stating that innovation is “intentionally ‘bringing into existence’ something new that can be sustained and repeated and which has some value or utility” (para 6).  This is essential for nursing and happens frequently.  No matter what is being innovated, there are some characteristics that go hand-in-hand with innovation, these being communication skills, leadership, professional development, and lifelong learning. 

     Communications skills are essential for innovation.  They are what drives the idea and are important for “selling” it to co-workers and supervisors.  Meyer (2010) states that “[t]op-notch communication skills with senior executives, peers, partners help drive open innovation success” (p. 2).  Another skill that is important for innovation is leadership.  Leaders are people who strive for success, so of course they are going to be important people in the innovation process.  Innovation is an element of the leadership process; therefore, leadership will result in innovations (Selman, n.d.).  Essentially, they feed off each other.  The next characteristic of innovation is professional development.  Professional development is the building up of skills and knowledge related to that individuals job field.  In nursing, this is a constant process.  The medical field is ever-changing, which means that those who work in it need to be adaptable to this change and can respond in a timely manner.  Professional development building programs can lead to more satisfaction from the nurse to become more confident in their jobs (Wood, 2006).  The final characteristic is lifelong learning.  Lifelong learning is an important part of innovation because it is the motivating factor behind it.  It is what makes an individual, or leader, strive to achieve further excellence and continue innovating.  Skills that are needed for innovation are not able to be taught.  They are learned over time by active use and constant accommodation.  All of these characteristics are needed to be a successful innovator.  Successful innovators have to ability to thrive by changing their environment for the better. 



Meyer, A. (2010). Communication in Open Innovation. Retrieved from http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/08/18/communication-in-open-innovation/

Sahlberg, P. (2009). Creativity and Innovation throughout lifelong Learning. Retrieved from http://www.pasisahlberg.com/downloads/Creativity%20and%20innovation%20in%20LLL%202009.pdf

Selman, J. (n.d.). Leadership and Innovation: Relating to circumstances and change. Retrieved from http://www.innovation.cc/discussion-papers/selman.pdf

Wood, J. (2006). Exploring staff nurses’ views on professional development. Nursingtimes.net, 102(13). Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice-clinical-research/exploring-staff-nurses-views-on-professional-development/203320.article



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