Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Suggested strategies for creating an environment that supports developing and integrating knowledge

Individual Strategies
 -Show personal commitment to professional development by reviewing research and attending conferences
 -Lead the team in discussions of research articles, case studies and clinical experiences
 -Conduct and share research reviews to synthesize findings on clinical and management topics (Walshe & Rundall, 2001)
 -Establish a roundtable or lunch group to discuss leadership experiences (Walshe & Rundall, 2001)
 -Challenge your leadership knowledge by writing for a publication or presenting at a conference
 -Raise questions about practice (Patrick et al., 2011)
 -Continue learning about evidence-based best practices and champion their integration (Jeffs et al., 2009)
 -Discuss how to evaluate practice with others and volunteer to collect data for evaluation
 -Volunteer for practice improvement initiatives
 -Participate in models of care that support learning (such as the 80/20 model, where learning is part of salaried work) and support colleagues to try them as well (Bournes & Ferguson-Pare, 2007)

Team and unit strategies
 -Develop quality-improvement teams and councils
 -Establish interprofessional project teams to foster learning and communication (Upenieks, 2003c)
 -Encourage sharing of information at regular team meetings (Stone et al., 2002) or other forums, conferences and meetings (Garvin, 1993; Upenieks, 2003c)
 -Foster nurse-to-nurse and interprofessional sharing of expertise through rounds
 -Support continued education for staff through flexible scheduling and journal clubs
 -Encourage staff to write a group article for publication or to do a presentation at a conference
 -Conduct a needs assessment and develop an education plan for the unit
 -Establish annual learning plans

Organization strategies
 -Provide library services, including internet and search engines (Udod & Care, 2004)
 -Provide tuition support and flexible scheduling to enable continuing education
 -Partner with degree-granting programs to provide on-site education; engage in collaborative research projects (Rutledge & Donaldson, 1995)
 -Conduct regular focus groups and surveys to track nursing practice processes and outcomes
 -Create processes for non-punitive reporting of errors and near-misses
 -Use best practice guidelines
 -Create opportunities for staff to learn about research, quality improvement, project management, mentoring, patient-centred care and integrating evidence-based practice by dedicating a percentage of work hours to learning time (Bournes & Ferguson-Pare, 2007).
 -Build/revise workload measurement tools to allow time for reflection and learning
 -Make doing and using research part of job descriptions and strategic planning (Rutledge & Donaldson, 1995)
 -Establish a nursing research committee and use evidence and research in the regular work of committees (Rutledge & Donaldson, 1995)
 -Publish nurses’ accomplishments in an annual report or news letter
 -Develop and provide open access to reports on nursing quality by tracking data on nurse-sensitive indicators (Bethune, 2005)

For a full list of references, please refer to the guideline at