“The Role of the Clinical Nurse in Promoting Evidence-Based Practice” by LaSala

Reflection Promoting Evidence-Based Nursing: Journal Article Critique

LaSala, Cynthia, Patricia Connors, Jill Taylor, Pedro, and Marion Phipps. “The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Promoting Evidence-Based Practice and Effecting Positive Patient Outcomes.” The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 38.6 (2007): 262-70.

Article Summary

Study Rationale

The research idea was to describe how clinical nurse specialists promote evidence-based practice in nursing in a hospital scenario. The researchers based the study on a large urban hospital, where the flow of patients is relatively high, the number of nurses is large and the role of clinical nurses is considered an important aspect of service delivery.


The topic of study is based on the idea of promoting evidence-based nursing in nursing. In this case, the researchers wanted to determine the roles that nurses have in the process, with an especial focus on clinical nurses. Thus, it is evident that the main audience of the article includes the nurse community, students and general practitioners, clinical and adult nurses. In addition, the article is important in policymaking because it emphasizes the promotion of evidence-based nursing in the clinical nursing procedure.

Purpose and aims of the study

The researchers wanted to describe the evolving role of clinical nurse specialists in the American healthcare system. In particular, they wanted to examine the impact of clinical nurse specialists in a large hospital, where patient flow is large and the number of clinical nurses as well as their subordinates and students is relatively high. To determine the evolution of the role of clinical nursing specialists, the researchers aimed at examining the history of the specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital using data available from records and literature.

Research question

First, the researchers wanted to determine the clinical competence of clinical nurse specialists in terms of understanding, function range, and the bread of services. Secondly, they wanted to determine the clinical expertise that enhances coordination of and responsibility for care continuity at the facility. Finally, they wanted to determine the professional maturity of the clinical nurse specialists in collaboration with the medical profession.

Research Methods

The study was based on a review of the literature and a case study. A review of literature involved an in-depth analysis of research work and the hospital’s service delivery process since the 1970s. The literature review was conducted at the hospital. This qualitative study aimed at describing the history and changing roles of the clinical nurse practice.


The study reveals some aspects of changes from the roles that these specialists played before the 1990s and the current practice. It indicates that the hospital has increasingly improved its reliance on clinical nurse specialists, including assigning major roles in treatment and diagnosis.


The researchers argue that the role of clinical nurse specialists has improved over time and moved from general nursing to include diagnosis, treatment, and general care. They argue that the healthcare system must continue promoting evidence-based care in nursing.


Strengths of the study

The study is based on a case study as well as a review of literature from a historical perspective. Thus, the information is reliable since chances for errors and biases are reduced.


The historical review of literature and practice cannot explain fully the role of nurses in other hospitals since the chosen facility has its unique missions and visions.

Key elements

The idea of the evolving role of clinical nurses in the healthcare system is an important element of enhancing an evidence-based healthcare delivery system. Secondly, the idea of future roles of these professionals is based on the current study. Using these ideas, I will attempt to describe the future of promoting and enhancing evidence-based practice in general and specialized nursing.


This article has supported my hypothesis because it has identified the need to improve evidence-based practice in nursing. The authors find that it is important to improve the existing knowledge in terms of describing the purposed of improved quality care through the application of evidence in clinical nursing.

Works Cited

LaSala, Cynthia, Patricia Connors, Jill Taylor, Pedro and Marion Phipps. “The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Promoting Evidence-Based Practice and Effecting Positive Patient Outcomes.” The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 38.6 (2007): 262-70. Print.

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