Nursing has evolved over many years to become a respected field. Nursing became viewed an applied science in the 1960s — the use of the scientific process to determine best practices was not consistent until much later.
Best practices, which receive plenty of focus in RN-BSN online programs, are nursing practices that are based on high-quality scientific evidence indicating that a particular practice benefits patients.
The Institute of Medicine’s 2001 report titled Crossing the Quality Chasm acknowledged the lack of the use of scientific evidence in healthcare practices. It noted that the massive base of medical knowledge available was not being effectively utilized and the public was not benefitting from it as much as it should be.
The emphasis on the use of available evidence to determine best practices began in the 1990s. Efforts made at that time to encourage individual healthcare professionals to independently examine and analyze studies to answer their own clinical questions were not very effective.
Later in the 1990s, the use of systematic reviews analyzing the results of multiple studies and clinical practice guidelines became more widespread, and continue today.
What Are the Benefits of Evidence-Based Care?
Consistency in Care
Care is no longer based in tradition, but in evidence that helps create standards in healthcare. Both patients and nurses benefit from consistency in the types of interventions that patients receive.
Best practice guidelines are available to guide institutions and healthcare professionals in the creation of policies and individual practice. Patients and their families also feel more secure in having a better idea of what to expect.
Better Patient Outcomes
Patient outcomes improve with the implementation of evidence based care. Infection and complication rates decrease, and fewer preventable events such as falls and pressure ulcers occur.
Some dangerous old nursing practices that were based on tradition were, thankfully, phased out due to new evidence. Nurses no longer smoke in the nurses station, no longer apply antacid powder to wounds, and we now know that infants should not be placed on their bellies to sleep (it was believed that this practice would help prevent choking).
An Advancing Career Field
Another benefit of evidence-based healthcare is that the nursing field is gaining more autonomy. Nurses and nurse practitioners are being granted more independence, and are increasingly being permitted to practice to the full extent of their education.
These changes are taking place thanks to the growing body of evidence indicating that nurse practitioners provide safe, effective care that is satisfactory to patients.
More Nurses are Pursuing Higher Education
Nurses today are at the helm of a rapidly evolving healthcare environment. Patients are achieving better outcomes, and care is becoming more efficient. Nurses are enjoying more respect as a profession and achieving higher levels of education.
Many are taking the next step in boosting their nursing practice by obtaining their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Multiple studies indicate that patient mortality dropped by over 5% in hospitals that increased their number of BSN-prepared nurses by 10%.
Earning a BSN today is much more flexible than it was in the past. Online classes can be taken one at a time, and fit easily into a busy nurse’s schedule. At a full-time pace, an RN can graduate with their BSN in as little as two semesters.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University provides students dedicated, personalized support to promote success. Students benefit from complementary career and degree counseling, and with no transcript or application fees, it’s easy to get started on the next chapter of your nursing career.
Contact us to find out more about the online RN-BSN program.
Ierardi, Janet. (2010). Sharing: Back in the day: What we can learn from outdated nursing practices. Nursing 2018, 40-4. Retrieved from https://www.nursingcenter.com/journalarticle?Article_ID=993107&Journal_I....
Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25057539.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2014). Building the case for more highly educated nurses. https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/articles-and-news/2014/04/building-the-c....
Stevens, K., (2013). The impact of evidence-based practice in nursing and the next big ideas. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol. 18, No. 2, manuscript 4.