Answered By: Ashley Guy, Nursing Librarian
Last Updated: Jul 11, 2018     Views: 2279

Definition of evidence-based practice (EBP)

EBP delivers the most appropriate care to patients with the use of current research evidence, clinical expertise, and an understanding of the patient (Klem & Weiss, 2005).

Steps of EBP

1. Ask: Formulate an answerable question (Do you have an example of a PICO clinical question?)

2. Acquire: Find the best available evidence or resources to answer the question

3. Appraise: Critically appraise the evidence for validity, impact, relevance, and applicability

4. Apply: Implement the results by combining  the evidence and clinical expertise

5. Evaluate:  Access effectiveness of the decision

Resource types (Levin &Feldman, 2006)

Primary Resources (Literature):

  • Published accounts of original  research and clinical findings found in journal articles.

Secondary Resources (Literature):

  • Resources that summarize and comment on original research in the form of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and reviews of individual articles.

Primary and secondary resources may be accessed through the Library databases :

Visit the School of Nursing Research page for more comprehensive information about EBP.


Klem, M. L., & Weiss, P. M. (2005). Evidence-based resources and the role of librarians in developing evidence-based practice curricula. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21(6), 380-386. Retrieved from‌issues 

Levin, R. F., & Feldman, H. R. (2006). Teaching evidence-based practice in nursing: A guide for academic and clinical settings. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.


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