When it comes to healthcare practice, its fundamental principle is to provide quality care to all patients, taking into account their social, cultural, financial, and other individual differences. These individual differences are connected to the social determinants of health, which everyone is influenced by at least in some way. They are organized around five essential areas, which include health and healthcare, education, social and community context, economic stability, and built environment (Healthy People 2020, 2020). According to Boswell and Cannon (2022), these areas provide opportunities for research efforts, initiatives regarding quality improvement, and evidence-based practice programs. Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is associated with the care of higher quality and results in lower costs. However, EBP is still not a standard for modern healthcare. Singleton (2017) notes that there is a plethora of challenges connected to this issue, including the fact that there is a delay in the translation of evidence into practice. In its turn, this delay leads to healthcare errors, patient safety problems, and patient deaths. This is why doctor of nursing practice scholars need to have relevant evidence-based practice competencies.
As a nurse comes into contact with a patient, the patient is to be certain in the care provided by the nurse is founded on the most recent medical data available. Boswell and Cannon (2022) state that research is the main element of the evidence that serves as a base for the provision of healthcare. While research is fundamental for evidence, quality improvement projects alongside personal experiences can be used by a professional to identify the best practices in the field (Boswell and Cannon, 2022). After the determination of the relevance of the medical data to be employed, the nurse and their patient also have to agree that this data must be applied with the consideration of one’s differences. Therefore, the necessity for EBP is substantiated by the expectations that are placed on nursing care.
As various patient tasks are assigned to specialists in nursing practice, the latest data available must be taken into account to ensure the application of the best practices. This data must be verified and validated as the healthcare system changes and develops. As an example of how this works, Boswell and Cannon (2022) suggest looking at information regarding respiratory issues. Nursing practitioners accept certain medical data concerning the treatment of respiratory difficulties such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, the initial question that a nurse facing a patient with this condition should ask is whether data on disease management accepted by them is supported by research results. Boswell and Cannon (2022) note that most nurses are not sure whether they can answer in the affirmative. According to Beeber et al. (2019), healthcare providers deliver a particular type of care only because it is accepted or is ordered when it must be based on the evidence corroborated by the profession. Only this approach allows for improving an individual patient’s health and the health of populations while lowering care’s overall costs.
In conclusion, the importance of evidence-based practice competencies for a doctor of nursing practice scholar cannot be underestimated. Granted, it is easier for someone to resort to practices that they are accustomed to or that are generally accepted; however, this is not how the care of the highest quality is provided. For the best care, all practices need to be based on evidence found within the profession and applied considering a patient’s differences. If this will not become a standard in healthcare, it might lead to many undesired consequences for the system as a whole and patients in particular.
Beeber, A. S., Palmer, C., Waldrop, J., Lynn, M. R., & Jones, C. B. (2019). The role of the doctor of nursing practice-prepared nurses in practice settings. Nursing Outlook, 67(4), 354-364. Web.
Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2022). Introduction to nursing research: Incorporating evidence-based practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Healthy People 2020. Social determinants of health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Web.
Singleton, J. K. (2017). Evidence‐based practice beliefs and implementation in doctor of nursing practice students. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 14(5), 412-418. Web.