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NURS 3360: Evidence-Based Practice

Introduction to the research process as related to nursing.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is about translating evidence and applying it to clinical decision-making. The purpose of evidence-based practice is to use the best evidence available to make patient-care decisions. Evidence-based practice goes beyond using research and includes clinical expertise and patient preferences and values. The use of evidence-based practice takes into consideration that sometimes the best evidence is that of opinion leaders and experts, even though there are no definitive results from research.

The evidence-based practice process has seven critical steps:

  1. Cultivate a spirit of inquiry.
  2. Ask a burning clinical question.
  3. Collect the most relevant and best evidence.
  4. Critically appraise the evidence.
  5. Integrate evidence with clinical expertise, patient preferences, and values in making a practice decision or change.
  6. Evaluate the practice decision or change.
  7. Disseminate evidence-based practice results.
Conner, B. T. (2014). Differentiating research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement. American Nurse Today, 9 (6). Retrieved from

Helpful Library databases

Useful Web Sources

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Position Statements and White Papers publicly express the AACN's views on important issues, emerging trends, and other areas of common interest. Positions statements represent the official view of AACN, and require a vote by the membership. White papers are developed for issues that are currently evolving and for which no clear statement of position is currently evident. (An Overview of AACN Public Statements has more information on the different types of documents.)

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Training. West Texas A&M University requires  all individuals (faculty, staff, and students) conducting or participating in research projects that involve human subjects to complete training for the Protection of Human Subjects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has great information on diseases and conditions, health living, travelers' health, emergency preparedness, and more.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also has great information on a number of different health topics, including disease outbreaks. You may want to check out Disease Outbreak News for the latest news on current disease outbreaks.