Evidence-Based Nursing: Literature Review

Evidence-based nursing is an approach in nursing care, which can be described as patient care and decision-making supported by relevant research. The use of evidence allows critically evaluating various academic sources and implementing their findings in practice. At the same time, the major difficulty that a nursing practitioner may face is connected with searching for a reliable source and selecting the most appropriate information. This paper aims to review academic works on evidence-based nursing found in two different databases and compare the search results to identify the most credible information.

A search on Google Scholar generates the following results related to the topic. The theoretical study “History of evidence-based practice in nursing education and practice” provides an introduction to the issue of evidence-based nursing care (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). It discusses the use of evidence throughout history from more simple to more complicated technological methods. According to the main findings, Florence Nightingale’s contributions in the 1800s are marked as the beginning of evidence-based patient care, which is a separate approach in modern nursing. Moreover, it is stated that nursing practitioners utilize and synthesize the best evidence for effective clinical performance and decision-making (Mackey & Bassendowski, 2017). Therefore, using an evidence-based approach may contribute to developing nursing as a discipline.

The search engine also generates a number of empirical research works. The study “Professional values and competencies as explanatory factors for the use of the evidence-based practice in nursing” deals with how a nurse’s professional skills influence the effect of evidence-based practice (Skela-Savič et al., 2017). The study was conducted in 20 Slovenian hospitals among 780 nursing practitioners and was designed as quantitative explorative research (Skela-Savič et al., 2017, p. 3). The results show that the values of activism and professionalism are the most important for evidence-based nursing. Moreover, it proves that the nurses’ insufficient knowledge about evidence-based care negatively influences their clinical work. The majority of literary sources used by the authors are up-to-date and include both theoretical and empirical works, which creates a strong literature base for the present research.

The BASE is another online database focusing on multidisciplinary academic works. The empirical study “Research priorities in evidence-based nursing care: A Delphi survey” was aimed to determine the decisive factors in nursing research (Hosseinzadeh et al., 2019). The authors do not identify the exact sample of the study but mention that it was conducted in several teaching hospitals in Iran and was designed as a questionnaire to rank each research priority. According to the ranking, the top five priorities in evidence-based nursing are assurance in healthcare, communication between nurses and patients, pain management, monitoring patients under mechanical ventilation, and drug care (Hosseinzadeh et al., 2019). It is also emphasized that determining such priorities may positively influence evidence-based nursing practices. The theoretical base of the research included other studies involving the Delphi survey, which increases the credibility of this academic work.

The keyword-based search in the Google Scholar and BASE databases demonstrates a sufficient number of research works on the topic; however, Google Scholar generates more reliable results. First, it provides a wider range of sources, including both theoretical and empirical studies, while the BASE is mostly focused on empirical research. However, theoretical studies are essential for the general understanding of the issue. Second, the sources found in Google Scholar are more specific. For example, the study by Skela-Savič et al. (2017) provides full information about the sample and uses tables to make the results more understandable. Therefore, the first database can be considered more helpful in conducting a nursing-related search.

In conclusion, literature analysis allows for defining which sources are more specific and relevant to the topic. It is worth mentioning that both databases provide articles from reliable sources, such as the Journal of Health Sciences and Journal of Advanced Nursing, and allow access to the most recent works. Therefore, even though Google Scholar generates more credible results, both databases can be appropriate for use in nursing care.


Hosseinzadeh, T., Ghanbari, A., Paryad, E., Maghsoudi, S., & Pour Alizadeh, M. (2019). Research priorities in evidence-based nursing cares: A Delphi survey. Journal of Health Sciences, 9(1), 9–16.

Mackey, A., & Bassendowski, S. (2017). The history of evidence-based practice in nursing education and practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(1), 51–55.

Skela-Savič, B., Hvalič-Touzery, S., & Pesjak, K. (2017). Professional values and competencies as explanatory factors for the use of evidence-based practice in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(8), 1910–1923.

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