Evidence-based practice (EBP) and nursing research are critical to the nursing practice because they provide the knowledge necessary to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care and develop new, more effective practices. These two concepts have specific differences that nurses should understand to implement both them effectively in their work. Chien (2019) explains that nursing research is “conducting research to generate new knowledge,” while EBP means “utilizing best evidence as to the basis of nursing practice” (p. e29). Thus, the key difference between the two concepts is that nursing research generates knowledge, whereas EBP uses the knowledge generated by research. Lobiondo-Wood and Haber (2017) also add that both EBP and nursing research starts with a question, but their questions are different in nature. In nursing research, the question is tested using a specific research design and methodology to generate new knowledge, while in EBP, the question is used to search for the extant literature on best practices for care improvement (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2017). Hence, nursing research and EBP differ in applications and relation to knowledge.
There are two types of nursing research: quantitative and qualitative research. They differ in the type of data used and the research problems they aim to resolve. Qualitative research textual data, while quantitative research utilizes numeric data and statistical methods for analyzing them (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2017). Qualitative research is used to understand human experiences, thoughts, and perceptions and is often conducted in natural settings (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2017). In contrast, quantitative research aims to test hypotheses and relationships, explain cause-and-effect relationships, assess the effectiveness of interventions, and investigate other research questions that allow for the use of numeric variables (Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, 2017). Both types of research are applicable to the nursing practice. For example, qualitative research can be applied to explore such research problems as the experience of loss after a miscarriage or the influence of culture on childbirth experiences. This type of research helps nurses understand the impact of various phenomena and experiences on patients. Quantitative research is helpful in gaining less in-depth but broader and generalizable information on the subject of interest. For example, it can help nurses test the effectiveness of a specific intervention.
Chien L. Y. (2019). Evidence-based practice and nursing research. The Journal of Nursing Research, 27(4), e29. Web.
Lobiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2017). Nursing research: Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (9th ed.). Mosby.