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Improving Bedside Nursing with Evidence-Based Practice

The profession of nursing has evolved over recent decades to reflect a shift toward more evidence-based practice for nurses.

To keep up with this shift, many nurses are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to learn evidence-based methods and boost their leadership and change management skills.

Also influencing the industry’s focus on evidence-based care is the growing complexity of healthcare patients. Many patients are living longer, often with multiple chronic conditions that require complex medical management. Nurses must be able to research evidence-based practices to guide their care of these patients.

Healthcare employees are seeking more BSN-prepared nurses

The 2010 Institute of Medicine report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change and Advancing Health” recommended that nurses practice to the fullest extent their license allows, achieve higher levels of education, act as full partners with physicians and actively work to incorporate better data to aid workforce planning.

The same report set a goal for the number of nurses with baccalaureate decrees to rise 30 percent, to 80 percent, by 2020. These targets were set to improve the future of nursing as it relates to the leadership, critical thinking and research skills more advanced degrees bring.

Nurses are introduced to evidence-based practices in BSN programs, which enable them to put these skills into practice at the bedside or in developing practice models that benefit patients.

Employers are seeking candidates who are BSN-prepared and can incorporate evidence-based practice, because research increasingly shows patients who are cared for by BSN-prepared nurses have better outcomes.

Evidence-based practice key for process improvement

Evidence-based nursing care draws on many important skills that nurses bring to the healthcare continuum.

At its heart, evidence-based practice standardizes healthcare practices so patients have safe, quality experiences. Evidence-based nursing care also can reduce variation in care among caregivers.

Implementing evidence-based nursing care can be challenging because it often requires a culture shift and changing long-standing practice patterns. Employers are more increasingly stressing evidence-based models for communication among nurses and physicians. Moreover, employers are encouraging the workforce to not only pursue higher education but to use their knowledge about research for process improvement.

As more individuals seek a bachelor’s level education focused on deploying evidence-based practice for nurses, the adoption of evidence-based practices and patient care outcomes will increase significantly.

Learn about the Columbus State online RN to BSN program.


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