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Nursing Management

February 2011, Volume 42 Number 2 , p 12 - 14


  • Jane C. Shivnan MScN, RN, AOCN


Nurse managers' attitudes toward evidence-based practice (EBP) influence the early adoption of best practices by their staff. The nurse manager has a pivotal role in providing opportunities for staff nurses to access, understand, and use EBP. Staff nurses who are involved in EBP projects have the opportunity to strengthen critical-thinking skills and build team competencies as they work with colleagues to identify practice questions, search for and critique evidence, and translate their findings into practice. The EBP novice needs support and help overcoming the many barriers that may derail an EBP project. But with the nurse manager's help and support for the process, staff nurses' renewed enthusiasm and engagement benefit the unit team and patient care.The important relationship of nurse manager support to positive work attitudes and behaviors, staff satisfaction and engagement, a healthy work environment, and positive patient outcomes is well established. Anecdotally, nurse managers understand how their priorities influence the priorities of their staff. There has been limited exploration of the role of the nurse manager in implementing a culture of EBP and its impact on the nursing unit. Most often, the EBP literature speaks broadly of the role of nurse leaders in allocating resources and establishing the infrastructure needed to support EBP in a healthcare organization. There are few published descriptions of how nurse managers can advance EBP at the bedside.Kramer et al. studied the clinical nursing environment and the nurse manager's role in promoting a professional practice environment over a number of years.1 They developed and used an Essentials of Magnetism tool to measure eight attributes viewed by staff nurses as essential to an excellent work environment, one of which is nurse manager support. In 2007, they conducted a national research study combining quantitative and qualitative techniques to better understand the concept of nurse manager supportive

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