Why would a focus on Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) be good for advanced nursing practice?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) as a discipline in healthcare that integrates clinical expertise with scientific evidence and patient values in decision making regarding patient care. Health care professionals, including Nurse Practitioners, are increasingly using EBP to translate research findings to patient care. Effective integration of EBP allows nurse practitioners to deliver high-quality and specialized care to individual patients, which improves patient satisfaction and outcomes. The Institute of Healthcare improvement believes that EBP has the unlimited capacity to help us achieve the quadruple Aim, which entails enhanced patient experience, improved healthcare outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and improved well-being of healthcare teams.
Recently, there has been a paradigm shift in terms of nursing specializations. More and more nurse practitioners are choosing EBP as their choice of specialty when advancing their careers. But in a time when there is a serious deficit of nurse professionals causing burnout, a specialty in EBP can be quite empowering. There is evidence that nurse practitioners who integrate EBP into practice deliver quality patient care and have improved care outcomes.
A nurse who chooses EBP as their area of specialization in advanced nurse practice leaps a ton of benefits. First, it equips a nurse with care strategies that allow them to focus on specific areas of patient treatment. A nurse gets to choose among a wide variety of specializations, including advanced adult-geriatric nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and women’s health nurse practitioner.
Also, a specialization in EBP opens leadership opportunities for a nurse who opts to advance their career in this upcoming field. This means that you get more chances of being chosen to lead and be in charge of the nursing team, among other leadership positions in the healthcare field.
A focus on EBP for an advanced nurse practitioner also provides job satisfaction and stability. EBP is an increasingly expanding field offering unlimited job opportunities and a heightened level of independence. Specialization in EBP also means a sizeable paycheck increase.
However, becoming an advanced nurse practitioner with a focus on EBP demands an advanced and diverse set of skills. One must have the ability to understand and interpret research findings. Secondly, because EBP entails incorporating new practices into clinical practice, it emphasizes exceptional leadership skills. If some or all of the above skills do not occur naturally, you may be required to go through a period of intense training.
Fiset, V. J., Graham, I. D., & Davies, B. L. (2017). Evidence-based practice in clinical nursing education: A scoping review. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(9), 534-541.
Lam, C. K., & Schubert, C. (2019). Evidence‐based practice competence in nursing students: An exploratory study with important implications for educators. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 16(2), 161-168.
Li, S., Cao, M., & Zhu, X. (2019). Evidence-based practice: Knowledge, attitudes, implementation, facilitators, and barriers among community nurses—a systematic review. Medicine, 98(39).