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Nurse leader resistance perceived as a barrier to high-quality, evidence-based patient care
Date:8/29/2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new national survey of more than 1,000 registered nurses suggests that serious barriers - including resistance from nursing leaders - prevent nurses from implementing evidence-based practices that improve patient outcomes.

When survey respondents ranked these barriers, the top five included resistance from nursing leaders and nurse managers - a finding that hasn't been reported in previous similar studies - as well as politics and organizational cultures that avoid change.

When asked what would help them implement evidence-based practice, respondents reported education, access to information and organizational support among their top five needs.

Evidence-based practice refers to making decisions about patient care that are based on the best evidence produced by well-designed clinical research. Numerous studies have suggested that evidence-based care of patients can reduce patient complications and decrease health-care costs by as much as 30 percent.

Overall, a little more than half of respondents reported that evidence-based practice was consistently used in their organization, but only about one-third said their colleagues consistently used these practices.

The respondents with more education tended to have more confidence in implementing evidence-based practice. However, the longer nurses had been working in health care, the less interested they were in learning more about evidence-based practice.

"This was a distressing finding," said Bernadette Melnyk, the dean of the College of Nursing and chief wellness officer at Ohio State University as well as lead author of the study. "And it's a huge problem. The average age of nurses is 47, and they were educated at a time when evidence-based practice was not well integrated into educational programs. As a result, many nurses are practicing the way they were taught or steeped in tradition of the health-care system in which they work. When new
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Contact: Bernadette Melnyk
Melnyk.15@osu.edu
614-292-4844
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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