Journal of Community Nursing - page 101

JCN
2013,Vol 27, No 4
101
IMPROVING PRACTICE
Some community nurses are
more skilled than others at finding
and appraising research evidence.
However, there is a need for more
nurses to develop expertise in
appraising evidence and in using
evidence to develop protocols, care
pathways etc, and implementing
change in practice. Nurses in
advanced practice roles, such as
clinical nurse specialists and nurse
consultants, have an important role
to play in promoting evidence-based
practice (Gerrish et al, 2011a,b). It is
important that they have the requisite
knowledge and skills to facilitate
learning among community nurses.
Accessing knowledge using the
internet is becoming increasingly
important. The majority of nurses
felt they were competent at finding
information on the internet, although
this was ranked relatively low as a
source of information for practice.
Community nurses, therefore, need
to be aware of evidence-based
resources such as those supported by
the National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Social
Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE),
in producing quality appraised
research briefings.
CONCLUSION
As community nurses rise to the
challenges outlined in recent health
policy (Department of Health
[DH], 2011; 2013), it is increasingly
important that they maximise their
potential to deliver evidence-based
practice. The findings from this
survey indicate that to make progress
with evidence-based practice, it is
important to adopt a multifaceted
approach, considering the real world
in which nurses currently practice.
While it is important to develop
nurses’skills in accessing and
reviewing research information,
constraints on time mean that it
will be difficult to achieve a nursing
workforce where all nurses are active
in reviewing research evidence.
A pragmatic approach is needed,
whereby those nurses working in
the community are enabled to access
research-based guidance in the form
of up-to-date protocols and pathways,
through in-service training, and their
interactions with senior clinical nurses.
Due to the multiple locations
of community nurses, the internet
is a useful source of information,
which needs investment in terms of
developing nurses’skills in retrieving
online evidence. It is also crucial that
the environment in which nurses work
is receptive to change.
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JCN
Table 6:
Skills appraisal
Skill rating
Complete
beginner/novice
Quite skilled Competent/
expert
%
%
%
Using the internet to search for information
25.1
29.6
45.3
Using the library to locate information
22.6
36.6
40.8
Finding organisational information
22.6
41.4
36
Using organisational information (policies /
guidelines, etc) to change practice
24.6
41.7
33.7
Reviewing organisational information
27.2
42.5
30.3
Reviewing research‘evidence’
34
35.8
30.2
Using research evidence to change practice
35
35.9
29.1
Finding research‘evidence’
40.7
33.8
25.5
Department of Health/Public Health Nursing
(2013)
Care in Local Communities: a new
vision and model for district nursing
. DH,
London
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KEY POINTS
It is increasingly important that
community nurses can deliver
evidence-based practice.
A pragmatic approach is needed,
whereby those nurses working
in the community are enabled to
access research-based guidance.
Due to the multiple locations of
community nurses, the internet
is a useful source of information.
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