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Arkansas State University

The History of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing Education

Evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing provides safe, high-quality patient care. Simply put, EBP combines solid research with clinical experience and patient values. It is an integral part of clinical care throughout the medical profession. According to the Journal of Nursing Research, evidence-based practice is “widely recognized as the key to improving healthcare quality and patient outcomes.” Given its emphasis, it is logical that evidence-based nursing would be part of nursing education.

When EBP Became Part of Nursing Education

To understand where EBP stands currently in the nursing profession and its educational programs, it is helpful to study the history of evidence-based practice. Although the core values pertaining to EBP, including research-based treatment protocols and a patient-oriented emphasis on quality, existed in nursing and nursing education for many years, a much more overt and intentional focus on EBP came about in the early 2000s when the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) published the Health Professions Education report. The report detailed the benefits of EBP to patient care and healthcare systems, making schools and organizations recalibrate their priorities. EBP has been a part of the A-State online RN to BSN program since the year 2000.

Why EBP Became Part of Nursing Education

Providing quality care that prioritizes patient safety is the foundation of nursing care. Unfortunately, this sometimes gets overlooked in nursing school. The Health Professions Education report noted that not all education programs properly prepared nurses to offer adequately safe care to patients.

The report determined that nursing education needed a significant upgrade to help resolve these issues. Nursing programs needed evaluation and alteration to update their curricula. One of the resulting improvements was more emphasis on EBP.

Programs determined that nurses should be proficient in evidence-based nursing by merging the best research with clinical experience and patient-oriented care, with the goal of providing the best care and keeping up with emerging research.

Progress Toward EBP Integration

There has been a great deal of progress since EBP became part of nursing education. As an example of that progress, the Quality and Safety Education in Nursing Initiative (QSEN) positions EBP as an essential part of nursing curriculum to prepare nurses to provide quality, safe care as they enter the profession. It does so by providing information that promotes skills, knowledge and competencies.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) has a helpful resource page that compiles information on evidence-based practice from various sources to answer any question you might have about the concepts and application of this widely used healthcare strategy.

Nursing and nursing education both continue to develop, all in an effort to provide increasingly high-quality care according to the core values of evidence-based nursing.

Learn more about the A-State online RN to BSN program.

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