June 7, 2024

Nursing event takes deep dive into evidence-based practice

The event featured lectures, breakout sessions and mentored work time that reinforced the seven-step evidence-based practice model.

Participants of the EBP Plunge. Participants of the EBP Plunge.

Over the past few years, Vanderbilt Nursing has held Evidence-based Practice Immersions that explore how evidence can change practice, with instructors from the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare. Vanderbilt’s in-house EBP instructors recently took charge of their own immersion, in a new event called the VUMC EBP Plunge.

The five-day EBP Plunge featured 26 attendees, including representatives from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and all VUMC entities including regional hospitals and system-level leaders. The event featured lectures, breakout sessions and mentored work time that reinforced the seven-step EBP model.

“It’s a weeklong deep dive into concepts around evidence-based practice in which someone comes with a question they’re trying to solve using the evidence,” said Jensine Russell, director of Practice Excellence in the Office of Nursing Excellence at VUMC. “Throughout the week, they’re mentored and guided through the concepts, and they leave with the beginning stages of an evidence-based initiative.”

All participants will work on their own evidence-based practice project over the next year, which they will present in May 2025 during Nurses Week, Russell said. Examples of projects include “Improving Discharge Process,” “Accessing Implanted Ports,” and “Improving Medication Reconciliation for Pre-operative Patients.” EBP mentors are available to guide their projects.

The event also “gamified” aspects of evidence-based practice to make the concepts more engaging for the participants, Russell said. For example, one session was called “Abstract American Idol,” in which participants had to score abstracts based on criteria they were just taught.

Every day of the plunge ended with the questions, “What went well?” and “What could we do differently?”

“And then we would ask them a reflective question that linked back to concepts they learned that day,” Russell said. “We think, overall, it was a great success.”

Russell said that feedback from the event is being used to shape EBP programs, including concepts and teaching materials.

Participants qualified for 25.5 contact hours. Another plunge is planned for September 2024.