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The aim of this article is to report on the creation and early innovations of an evidence-based nursing committee in a tertiary hospital. During a post-merger transitional period, the Evidence-based Nursing (EBN) Committee conducted a number of projects, which included selecting an evidence-based practice (EBP) model for nursing; developing a process for prioritising and disseminating research findings to healthcare programmes; and evaluating an important EBP application in direct patient care.
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), a 1157 bed tertiary hospital providing inpatient and outpatient acute and long term care across several health programmes, is a recent merger of 2 hospitals at 4 sites in a large city in southern Ontario, Canada. Approximately 2900 nurses (2550 Registered Nurses and 380 Registered Nursing Assistants) are employed by HHS in either full or part time positions in health programmes that range from infertility services and obstetrical care to a large and progressive cardiac surgery programme. HHS provides regional services to 2.2 million people in Hamilton and Central South Ontario.
In 2000, the Nursing Practice Committee (NPC), a nursing body that represents direct care nurses, sets the general direction for nursing, and is accountable to the Chief Nursing Officer, identified 3 priorities for development. One of these priorities was to develop the use of EBP by nurses at the bedside. Therefore, with accountability to the NPC, the EBN Committee was created and given the mandate of developing the use of EBP at the patient care level and recommending processes that would promote EBP among direct care nurses. In 2002, the mandate and responsibilities were expanded (see table 1).
Under the co-leadership of a clinical nurse specialist (BK) and a school of nursing faculty member with a track record in health services research (EAM), …
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