Work pressures are the main reason preventing nurses from implementing evidence-based practice, according to a UK nursing researcher, who is calling for protected time for staff.
Dr Ven Veeramah, a senior lecturer at the University of Greenwich, noted that nurses widely recognised the benefits of using evidence-based information to update practice and enhance care quality.
“Barriers were lack of time to search for relevant information and being able to make time during working hours to look for information”
But, despite previous research showing that nurses and midwives were positive about evidence-based practice, he said its implementation “remains a considerable and significant challenge”.
The majority of the 172 nurses who were surveyed for a study on the subject expressed a “very positive attitude” towards evidence-based practice and nearly all felt that it should become an “important part of daily practice”, said Dr Veeramah.
A significant number stated they had regular access to research through databases and the internet at their place of work, as well as guidelines relevant to their speciality, but that time to look at it was a problem.
“The two top barriers perceived by respondents were lack of time to search for relevant evidence-based information and being able to make time during working hours to look for new information,” said Dr Veeramah in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Time main barrier to nurses keeping up with research
“The most popular strategy suggested [by respondents] was to ensure evidence-based information is readily available in a form which nurses and midwives can easily understand the implications for their practice,” he added.
Dr Veeramah called on NHS and government agencies to make a “concerted effort” to make time for nurses and midwives to “access, appraise and use” evidence-based information to inform practice.
“More resources including protected time should be made available to support nurses and midwives to use evidence-based information to improve the quality of care provided,” he said.