Central to successful system transformation is to truly demonstrate the use of evidence-based practice. We know the importance of this is often stated, but how well research and evidence is translated into practice varies across the country. To consider this and help support any change required, a new guide in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has been developed for executive nurses. The implementation of evidence can be achieved by creating the right culture, the right leadership, capability in interpreting and implementing evidence, and facilitating the engagement of staff and patients in evidence-based policy and practice.
Ruth May, as the Chief Nursing Officer for England is a strong advocate for environments which embrace evidence-based practice, leadership at all levels and establishing mechanisms to support staff as innovators within their own areas of practice. Accelerating the use of research and evidence into practice has been shown to help us continually strive to prevent and tackle health inequalities and improve the care experience for the patients, individuals and populations we care for and work alongside. Additionally, it ensures strong nursing leadership is recognised as key to the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Creating a truly evidence-informed profession involves a number of roles, including researchers and clinical academics, and all nurses and midwives – each embedding evidence in everyday practice in whatever role they undertake, wherever they work. This guide is written to support executive nurse leaders and role models to putting a greater focus on research and evidence, and help equip colleagues with the necessary knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to drive and embed evidence-based improvements and innovations.
The guide has been written in collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research Dissemination Centre. The NIHR are committed to enhancing evidence-based practice among nursing and midwifery teams and driving forward innovation and improvements in patient care.
This guide is primarily directed at executive nurses and midwives working in positions where there is the opportunity to lead the acceleration of evidence into practice. It is proposed that it will also be useful for lead nurses in social care, third sector and private facilities.
Please read the guide and its examples of good practice and think about how you might implement the practical advice in your organisation.