How to Stay Up to Date with Evidence Based Practice
In nursing school, you have cited so many research articles for case studies that you could cite the latest evidence-based practice in APA format verbally to your nursing colleagues. However, once you land a nursing job you soon realize you don’t have any assignments forcing you to read hours upon hours of research articles, and you look at your daily work and realize you have no time to take the initiative on your own. However, you are torn because you know how important knowledge of evidence-based practice is for your nursing practice and patient care. The struggle is real! Here are some reasonable tips to stay up to date with Evidence Based Practice.
- Learning Platforms Aren’t Just for Annual Competencies!
One simple way to incorporate EBP (evidence-based practice) into your daily practice is to look at what is offered with your organization’s online learning platform. Often this is the platform you are assigned annual competency modules on, but there are often modules or skills checklists that are updated with the latest evidence that you may be able to enroll in or look up yourself. Check with your management or education team to see if this is available to you and get in the habit of checking there when you have questions in real time. You may not be able to complete the full module in the moment but can bookmark to go back to later!
- Policies and Procedures
Healthcare organizations policies and procedures need to be based on evidence. Get in the habit of familiarizing yourself with the most used policies and procedures for what you do in your daily work. Often, evidence is cited at the end of the document, see if you can get access to those articles and skim for understanding.
- Research Databases
If your healthcare organization is an Academic connected institution, especially those that offer medical residencies, you may have access to the connected school’s library digital databases. These are amazing sources of information if available where you can search data bases such as CINAHL and PubMed to look up the latest evidence. You should also have access to these if you are enrolled in nursing school at any level. It may be time consuming but having this at your fingertips is a game changer!
- Social Media
You may be surprised to find social media on this list as an option to be updated on EBP, however, if you cultivate who you follow on sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, there are often updated articles or EBP updates shared amongst those working in similar environments. You can also follow professional groups and organizations from your practice area of focus. You can feel less guilty scrolling your socials when you are learning too – just be cautious of the sources used. Word of mouth or a small tweet shouldn’t be taken as 100% truth but is a great starting point to explore!
Google is often frowned upon in nursing school, but some of the databases discussed above are inaccessible. Try using google scholar to search for articles on updated evidence. Additionally, you can sign up for Google News alerts – and put in the keywords “nursing research”, this will send a short palatable list of the latest articles to your email – and you choose the frequency and length of that list.
- Practice Area Councils, or Professional Organizations
If your healthcare organization or unit offers something such as a practice area council, this is a great way to dedicate time to work as a group to evaluate current practice and comparing it with latest evidence to propose practice change. Again, this can be time consuming, but working together can strengthen your EBP skills. Additionally, you can join professional organizations which often comes with that organizations sponsored research journal where you can read through latest evidence pertinent to your practice area.
There are lots of options in this blog to explore in keeping up to date on evidence-based practice! However, the #1 necessity is to lean into your curiosity and continue to ask those questions about why, and why not? That is the foundation before finding the answer is knowing how to ask the question and having the courage to ask!