Clinical Nurse Specialists’ Role in Promoting Evidence Based Practice in Saskatchewan’s Health Care Settings

  • Author / Creator
    Campbell, Theresa Diane
  • Background: Nursing is a practice discipline and patients expect nurses will use the best evidence available to improve outcomes. A major challenge to the implementation of best practice is the complexity of organizational and social environments in which nurses’ work. One method to keep nurses informed of best practice is to employ change agents; nurses with clinical expertise and familiarity with research who can transfer the evidence to those in clinical settings. It has been suggested that the clinical nurse specialist (CNS), as an educator, consultant, clinical expert, researcher, and leader is well situated to promote evidence-based practice in the workplace. Purpose: The purpose of this explanatory mixed methods study is to gain a deeper understanding of the CNS role, as it pertains to promoting evidence-based practice. The research question guiding this research is: What is the role of the CNS in promoting evidence-based practice in acute care and community settings in Saskatchewan? Methods: This study used Creswell and Plano Clark’s sequential explanatory mixed methods design that focused on an initial collection and analysis of quantitative data followed by a collection and analysis of qualitative data. The survey data was analyzed using SPSS 18. The transcribed interviews were reviewed for recurrent themes regarding the CNSs’ role in promoting evidence-based practice. The PARiHS framework provided the broad structure to identify themes. Interpretive description was used to analyze the themes. Findings: To carry out their role as facilitators of EBP, CNSs rely on their: master’s preparation, clinical expertise, and people/communication skills. In order to streamline processes to increase efficiencies, share their expert knowledge with staff and patients, and provide leadership, CNSs need to work in supportive contexts and have access to high quality evidence. The primary source of written evidence used by CNSs was the internet at work and the primary source of “people” evidence was the CNS’s personal experience. Lack of role clarity and leadership were barriers to carrying out their roles in an effective manner. Conclusion: CNSs can improve patient outcomes by using best evidence in the provision of care, but to do so, they need to work in supportive contexts.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Faculty of Nursing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Joanne Profetto-McGrath, Faculty of Nursing
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Don Philippon, Professor Emeritus with the School of Public Health and Adjunct Professor School of Business, University of Alberta
    • Dr. Susan Slaughter, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Dr. Beverly Williams, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Dr. Susan Jack, School of Nursing, McMaster University
    • Dr. Kathleen Hunter, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta,