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Around the turn of the 20th century, in order to create a formal means of supporting their role and improve nursing standards and education, the nurses of South Australia formed the South Australian branch of ATNA. From this organization the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in South Australia (ANMFSA) evolved (ANMFSA, 2012). The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is now the independent accrediting authority for nursing and midwifery under Australia’s National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. The ANMAC is responsible for protecting and promoting the safety of the Australian community by promoting high standards of nursing and midwifery education through the development of accreditation standards, accreditation of programs, and assessment of internationally qualified nurses and midwives for migration (ANMAC, 2016).
Efforts to put research findings to practice were encouraged by the nursing field in the 1980s.
This practice, known as research usage, involves using some part of a study in a way that is unrelated to the original research’s purpose.
It could lead to practice changes based only on the findings of a single research study (Barnsteiner & Prevost, 2002).
In addition, rather than rigorously verifying the worthiness of research findings prior to integrating it into practice, research utilization concentrated on turning existing research into practice (Beyea & Slattery, 2013).
Evidence about a certain topic builds over time when research is conducted (Polit & Beck, 2016), which can be employed to varied degrees in therapeutic practice.
A nurse, for example, may be more aware of the need of preserving hope when working with inpatients with long-term chronic illnesses after reading a qualitative research article about the implications of hope for inpatients with long-term chronic illnesses.
As a result, the nurse may become more conscious of how his or her behaviors affect patients’ feelings of hope.
The nurse may then adjust his or her behavior depending on the reading of this one study article through research use.
This may not have been the research project’s intended goal.
It’s worth noting that in this case, the nurse exhibits a deeper knowledge of the treatment he or she provides.
A nurse would not alter a patient’s physical care without first modifying an established protocol, but a physician might.
The difference between research utilization and EBP is that research utilization may result in changes in practice based on the findings of a single study, whereas EBP answers a clinical question based on a comprehensive literature search that uncovers all relevant current research evidence related to that problem.
Although research utilization was a key notion in nursing, the EBP movement has resulted in significant improvements in clinical actions and practice as a result of cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Most baccalaureate nursing schools now require students to take a research course, which was not the case a few years ago.
Evidence-based care has become a priority for healthcare insurers and regulators, particularly where cost reductions can be made.
Shorter hospital stays and insurance savings should result from the goal of improving treatment, lowering costs, and encouraging high-quality care.
Healthcare providers have been encouraged to establish techniques for adopting evidence-based interventions, such as using adequate handwashing procedures to limit the risk of microorganism transmission to patients (Beyea & Slattery, 2013).
From Research Utilization to Evidence-Based Practices (EBP)
Because EBP encompasses more than just research, nursing practitioners began to actively consider the benefits of evaluating and analyzing all available information on a given topic or problem before making recommendations for practice changes.
As a result, EBP constituted a profound paradigm shift in nursing education and practice.
Nurses have become more informed and interested in reviewing research papers as the profession of nursing has progressed.
Critiquing is the process of examining a study for errors, signs of bias, or other variables that may have influenced the conclusions.
Polit and Beck (2016) argue that a skilled clinician must now be capable of accessing, analyzing, synthesizing, and implementing fresh research results, rather than relying solely on experience or a reservoir of remembered information.
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