Fundamentals of Nursing and Practice


Research utilization portrays imposing research in developing an evidence-based nursing practice both on organizational and individual levels. The paper highlights the meanings of both terms, how to utilize research in nursing evidence-based practice, and barriers and facilitators to the use of research in nursing practice. Finally, the paper will display how a nurse can put this information into practice.

The practice of evidence-based nursing needs to move from the routine hypothesis of clinical practice based on clinical sense, expertise, and patho-physiological basis in understanding diseases to clinical experience associated with incorporation of the best scientific evidence. It includes also considering patient ideals, choices and the patient’s clinical situation (Salmond, 2007). The aim of this essay to provide a brief, yet a comprehensive explanation of evidence-based nursing practice as it correlates to research utilization.

The meaning of evidence-based practice and research utilization

Evidence based practice means the skillful opinion and action based on attentive use of knowledge available from related proper and reliable sources. Research results are among these sources, since their reliability stems from the clarified systematic and controlled research methods declared for other researchers to evaluate, review and criticize (Brown, n.d.).

Research utilization in evidence-based nursing practice is the use of results and conclusions of well controlled studies in a realistic treatment that is not related to the original research. The highlighting is on translating experiential practically gained knowledge into real world treatments. The basis of research utilization is to use a research-based advancement or a new knowledge in practice. Clearly research utilization is only one of the preconditions of evidence-based practice (Beck and Denise, 2007).

How to utilize research in nursing evidence-based practice

Research results and conclusions can be utilized at one of three levels. First is to change a nursing practice (instrumental utilization), second is to improve understanding of a clinical nursing problem (conceptual). Finally to change others view (especially decision makers) to a certain patient’s problem (DeLaune and Lander, 2006). At any of these levels, utilizing research in nursing evidence-based practice is important for the patient’s welfare, therefore should adopted by all nurses.

Utilizing research in nursing evidence-based practice can be on an individual level or on an institutional level. Using research on individual evidence-based nursing practice includes (Beck and Denise, 2007): First is to look for clinical questions that can be responded to by research evidence, second is to aim for and assemble proper relevant evidence. Third is to evaluating and create the evidence, fourth is to incorporate the evidence into one’s clinical experience, patient’s choices, and current situation. Finally is to appraise the outcome of using research (whether in decision making, intervention, or advice).

Using research in evidence-based nursing practice is of equal importance to the working institution as it is for the nurse. A leadership nurse should engage in developing curriculums’ design and appraising the outcome of such a curriculum, and has a role in improving the quality of care provided by the staff nurses. Therefore, it is the responsibility of nurse administrators and nurse leaderships to facilitate, appraise, and transfer the knowledge of utilizing research in evidence-based nursing practice (Beck and Denise, 2007).

Barriers and facilitators to the use of research in nursing practice

Barriers to research utilization in evidence-based nursing practice can be related to the research itself, nurses’ attitude and education or institutional (organizational). Factors related to the research are: 1) the unmet high quality of results and conclusions in nursing research. 2) The diversity in nursing research both qualitative and quantitative, and 3) the need of nurse researchers to improve their ability to communicate and transfer their conclusions to practicing nurses. Some nurses do not value research or do not accessibility to research, or do not have support from their senior colleagues. On organizational level, the unit or department culture directs the nurse towards utilization of research results. In other cases, despite theoretical support for the principle of evidence-based practice, there is little practical support in the form availability of research or contribution in evidence-based decision making or interference (Beck and Denise, 2007).

Winch and others (2005), explained how to facilitate utilization of research in evidence-based nursing practice. This occurs in three consecutive steps that they named read, think, and do (impose). Such an effort is better done through a clinical nursing team including administrative nurse, educator nurse, senior and junior nursing staff. The team is encouraged to find a common area of interest, or a common problem question to discuss research results related to it. Then they transfer their opinion to evidence-based opinion leader and then to clinical nurse consultant who examine the subjects and discuss it with the medical staff. The eventual objective should always be to come up with clinical recommendations for that unit or about that problem that is put to real case implementation (Winch and other, 2005).

How to anticipate utilizing research and having an evidence-based nursing practice in the future

In conclusion how would the nursing research put the previous information into practice? Utilizing research, as one item of evidence, is better implemented through the frame of read, think, and do as suggested by winch and others (2005). The researcher is aware that evidence based nursing is not an inventory, it is more like what nurses have been doing for a longtime, yet it is now standardized with known means to develop and carry out. Further, the objective of developing evidence-based nursing practice is to provide a frame for nursing care in a particular unit or groups of cases, which is flexible and can be tailored according to patient’s individual condition and choices. Finally, research selection, review, contribution, and knowledge transfer are important cornerstones in developing the right evidence-based nursing practice.


Beck, C.T and Denise, F.P (2007). Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice (Nursing Research (Polit)). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Brown, S.J (n.d.). Orthopedic Nursing Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Practice: A Short Tour. 2008. Web.

DeLaune, S.C and Lander, P.K (2006). Fundamentals of Nursing and Practice (3rd. edition). Clifton: Cengage Delmar Learning.

Salmond, S.W (2007). Advancing Evidence-Base Practice: A Primer. Orthopaedic Nursing, 26(2), 114-123.

WINCH S., Henderson A. and Creedy D (2005). Read, Think, Do!: a method for fitting research evidence into practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 50(1), 20-26.