Application of evidence-based nursing practice at a tertiary hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng province, South Africa

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Sam Mndzebele
Sylvia Tshivhase


The modern world has made some significant moves towards promoting the use of evidence-based nursing practice (EBNP) as a form of rendering quality nursing-care in hospitals and clinics. There’s still a need for the overhaul of the way health professionals are being educated in both academic and in practice settings to also enhance professional development for health professionals who are already in practice. The aim of the study was to assess nurses’ knowledge and skills in the use of tested-evidence during their daily nursing practice at the work place. A descriptive cross-sectional survey design, through the use of self-administeredquestionnaireswas engaged during data collection. The sample-size included 273 professional nurses. Only 36.4% of the participants claimed to have adequate knowledge about EBNP. A total of 63.1% participants claimed to have heard about this model before. Only 22.4% agreed to have attended some workshops related to EBNP. Very few (2.9%) confessed to be excelling in the use of EBNP; while above half (52.4%) said were good at their performances. About 42.7% indicated a very poor performance in EBNP. A very low proportion (4.3%) admitted that the hospital did provide them with the necessary material resources to enable them apply this model (EBNP) at the work-place. On assessment of the participants’ perceptions in regard to quality patient care related to the use of EBNP, the results demonstrated a strong correlation in this regard [Pearson Chi2(2)=1.4501;(P-value=0.484)], although this value was not statistically significant. About 30.3% of the participants confessed to have means of accessing information for professional development regarding EBNP. Only 23.8% preferred internet; whilst 27.5% opted for both libraries and internet outlets. The findings suggest that there remains a gap in embracing and applying EBNP within the local nursing fraternity. This emanates from a variety of factors such as insufficient resource information, age differences among nurses, and lack of management support regarding EBNP. There is need for more resources and strategies towards improving the scope of nursing colleges to embrace EBNP and profession development for nurses who are already in the field.

Key words: Tertiary hospital, professional development, nurses, evidence-based practice, quality patient care, 

Article Details

Author Biographies

Sam Mndzebele, SMU

Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health (Dept of Health Systems Management & Policy). Research areas: Healthcare systems, Health management, Health policy, Oral healthcare, Teaching & learning.

Sylvia Tshivhase

General Nursing, Bcur (Nursing), MPH