The first U.S. study on nurses' evidence-based practice competencies indicates major deficits that threaten healthcare quality, safety, and patient outcomes.
Although the practice of evidence-based medicine is an important strategy for improving the safety and quality of health care, consistent use of known best practices does not occur. In this study, researchers sought to assess nurse competency throughout the United States across 13 evidence-based practice competencies for nurses as well as 11 additional competencies for advanced practice nurses. They administered an anonymous online survey and received responses from 2344 nurses across 19 hospitals or health systems. In general, nurses reported a lack of competency across all 24 domains, but younger nurses and those with more training reported better competency. A recent PSNet interview discussed the role of nurses with regard to patient safety and outcomes.