PHOENIX—Gaps in evidence-based practice exist, even within an oncology nursing workforce that is well-educated and experienced, according to research presented at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Connections: Advancing Care Through Science conference.

While nurses value and understand that evidence-based practice is important to improve clinical care and patient outcomes, practically implementing evidence-based practice is challenging for nurse leadership and direct-care nurses. This research project sought to understand and describe nurse beliefs and perceived implementation of evidence-based practice.

The research team surveyed 90 nurses on their beliefs about evidence-based practice, and 75 nurses on their implementation of evidence-based practice. The researchers sought to describe demographic data and determine how differences are affected by nursing role, evidence-based practice education, and experience.

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The surveys indicated that nurses believe evidence-based practice is valuable, but also that they have neutral feelings about implementing it in their practice. The majority of the nurses surveyed had the perception that they infrequently or never implemented concepts of evidence-based practice.

Beliefs and implementation of evidence-based practice education were positively associated with exposure to education on evidence-based practice. Implementation of evidence-based practice differed between those with or without formal education on evidence-based practice.

Only a small portion of the nurses sampled could identify evidence-based practice resources. The study authors stated that understanding the needs of nurses at an institutional level will help to guide an action plan to improve beliefs and implementation of evidence-based practice.