Promoting Advanced Practice Nurse Buy-In For Evidence-Based Practice: An Apn Research Guide
Reading and understanding research is challenging and is often cited as a barrier to research application (1-3). Generally novices require more time to read, understand, and critique studies than experienced advance practice nurses (APNs) (4), but many find the research critique to be a helpful learning activity (5). Lack of familiarity with terms and lack of confidence in ability to understand the findings can make the experience of reading and critiquing research intimidating and frustrating. Few nurses regularly read research; and alarmingly, Wood (6) recently noted that trepidation, antipathy, and apathy toward research have not improved in the past two decades (7). Regular reading to gain insight into best evidence useful for practice is essential if nursing is to meet the goal of improving health care through the implementation of evidence-based practice (8). Thus, strategies to improve the skills of APNs in reading and understanding research can make the experience less overwhelming, time consuming and frustrating. Recent findings have shown that reading research increases critical thinking skills (9), thus benefiting not only patients but also nurses. This article reviews an APN Research Guide devised, used and refined for 12 years by nurses who have evaluated the guide positively. Data are included to support their evaluations. Understanding research is an essential first step towards evidence-based practice (10-12).
This APN Research Guide fills a major gap in critique guides. This guide is short (4 pages), easily printed with space for responses, and contains the first scoring criteria since Duffy's criteria was published in 1985 (13). The point allocations for this critique were derived by the authors who are experienced clinicians and researchers. While other critique guides exist, the ones in research texts are generally long, presented as text boxes within chapters, and lack space for readers to include notes as they critique.