Why is Evidence Based Practice Important?

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Improving Patient Outcomes with Evidence Based Practice

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Moving Beyond Tradition
  • 1:04 What Is Evidence Based…
  • 2:10 Why Evidence Based Practice?
  • 3:31 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sheila Bouie
For many years, nursing care was guided solely by tradition. Today, nursing is guided by evidence-based practice, which uses a scientific approach to determine the best course of action for patients.

Moving Beyond Tradition

Ever wonder why Florence Nightingale is so important to nursing history? It is because she is considered the first nurse researcher, and ultimately shaped evidence-based practice.

Florence Nightingale was a wealthy, educated woman living in London when she volunteered to help the soldiers of the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. When she arrived at the barracks with her team of nurses, Nightingale found very unsanitary conditions. Nightingale went to work and changed how nursing care was delivered. She cleaned the barracks and offered proper meals and provided hygiene to the wounded soldiers.

Nightingale also took time to record all of the nursing care given to the soldiers and the results of that care. More soldiers lived as a result of her team's work! She had proof that the new way of delivering nursing care was making a difference. Nightingale and her team continued to use this evidence to deliver nursing care.

What Is Evidenced-Based Practice?

As Nightingale showed, nursing had to be more than just following traditions - and also more than just following physicians' orders. This led to evidence-based practice (sometimes called EBP), which is a problem-solving strategy for the delivery of safe, quality patient care. When nurses use evidence to deliver care, it takes into account the patient's wishes, the nurse's expertise, and current research to decide what the best course of action is for each patient.

To see what we mean by this, let's look at pain management as an illustration. Different cultures have different ideas of how to handle pain. A male patient from a certain cultural background might not ask for pain medication after a surgery, fearing that this might look like a sign of weakness. The nurse caring for this patient understands that controlling the pain helps to speed his recovery. Taking into account the patient's fears and the research on pain control after surgery, the nurse may develop a plan to offer pain medication without waiting for the patient to ask.

Why Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-based practice is the science behind nursing practice. It's important because it helps promote better patient outcomes, or results of patient care.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account