Evidence-based practice (EBP) is gaining more and more important both in scholarly research and professional environment. This method of inquiry is highly helpful since it allows healthcare professionals to analyze real-life situations and ground their treatment and care plans in them. While commonly, EBP is employed by physicians, its significance for nurses is also acknowledged by specialists. The paper discusses the role of EBP and interdisciplinary collaboration in nursing practice.
The Significance of Applying EBP to Nursing Care
Nurses perform various duties at healthcare organizations, including research as a crucial aspect of successful practice. Due to their heavy workload, nursing practitioners need to seek effective ways of performing research without getting distracted from their primary tasks. The most productive solution is the use of EBP, which not only helps nurses to find relevant scholarly data but also applies them to improve patient outcomes. According to Crabtree, Brennan, Davis, and Coyle (2016), nurses serve as a “link” in implementing EBP to gain the highest quality of care (p. 172). With the help of EBP, patient outcomes can be increased considerably since this practice allows using the most reliable and effective approaches.
The Role of Academic Preparation of the RN-BSN Nurses in the Application of EBP
Although many nursing specialists get acquainted with the basics of EBP at a workplace, analyzing the basic EBP principles during the RN-BSN nurses’ preparation seems reasonable. McEwen, White, Pullis, and Krawtz (2014) remark that EBP is one of several crucial competencies that should be included in RN-BSN programs. Scholars note that such addition should be made to RN-BSN programs due to its potential to enhance nurses’ leadership and research skills (McEwen et al., 2014). At the same time, the academic preparation of these specialists involves learning how to perform search and analysis of literature (McEwen et al., 2014). Therefore, the program provides the preliminary preparation of nursing professionals for dealing with EBP in their work.
Nurses’ Communication and Collaboration with Interdisciplinary Teams
It is a common practice for various specialists in healthcare facilities to perform their functions separately. As Lancaster, Kolakowsky-Hayner, Kovacich, and Greer-Williams (2015) note, physicians, nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) “barely speak to each other” during work (p. 275). Doctors tend to consider that nurses should participate in decision-making, but such an occurrence is quite rare. Furthermore, there is a hierarchical relationship between the teams of nurses and UAPs (Lancaster et al., 2015). Therefore, nurses’ communication and collaboration with other actors of the care process should be based on the principles of mutual respect and harmony.
Interdisciplinary Teams as a Means of Ensuring Better Patient Outcomes
Scholars emphasize that effective professional collaboration among different teams can have positive outcomes for patients. Cohesive teamwork decreases the likelihood of adverse events and the length of patient stay (Epstein, 2014). At the same time, productive communication leads to the elimination of medical errors and increases patient satisfaction levels. The so-called “team sport” approach has a high potential to reach the best results of treatment and care (Epstein, 2014, p. 295). Apart from that, the well-arranged interdisciplinary team collaboration promotes medical employees’ job satisfaction and loyalty, thus reducing turnover rates among nurses, physicians, and UAPs.
The importance of EBP in nursing care cannot be overestimated. Nursing practitioners apply their research skills while analyzing EBP cases. At the same time, scholars note that the RN-BSN programs should reinforce their curricula through the inclusion of EBP principles. Effective interdisciplinary collaboration is recognized as the core basis for better patient outcomes. When the team of diverse professionals acts as a single unit, their actions and decisions are highly coordinated, which eliminates errors and increases patient satisfaction.
Crabtree, E., Brennan, E., Davis, A., & Coyle, A. (2016). Improving patient care through nursing engagement in evidence-based practice. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 13(2), 172-175.
Epstein, N. E. (2014). Multidisciplinary in-hospital teams improve patient outcomes: A review. Surgical Neurology International, 5(7), 295-303.
Lancaster, G., Kolakowsky-Hayner, S., Kovacich, J., & Greer-Williams, N. (2015). Interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among physicians, nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(3), 275-284.
McEwen, M., White, M. J., Pullis, B. R., & Krawtz, S. (2014). Essential content in RN-BSN programs. Journal of Professional Nursing, 30(4), 333-340.