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What are RNs to do if an employer's policy, based on best practices, goes against standards set by nursing specialty organizations?

Monday March 3, 2014
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Dear Nancy,

Evidence-based practice is the buzz phrase, yet if an institution states their policy is based on their best practice experience and, in fact, their policy goes against standards set by nursing specialty organizations, what are we to do?


Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Jason,

You and your fellow nurse colleagues are being placed in a difficult position. It is unclear why a facility would not adopt objective research that supports evidence-based practice. Is the CNO not supportive of evidence-based practice?

You might want to raise this concern with your Policy and Procedure Committee. Risk management also would be concerned about conforming to standards that are used, not only in patient care, but also to support standards of practice in malpractice suits.

Another option might be to see if you can have a nurse researcher or a nursing faculty member at one of the local colleges or universities do an in-service on evidence-based research. If that is not possible, see if there is a CE program being offered that you and several of your colleagues could attend and bring back the information to the CNO.

Of course, another option would be to find another position in a facility that does support evidence-based practice. This option would probably be your last choice, but it is a
choice nonetheless.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.