Evidence-based practice involves basing clinical decisions and practice on the best available evidence. What do nurses need to think about when seeking to pursue evidence-based practice? What challenges do practitioners face in blending clinical reasoning with evidence-based practice? In this article, the authors argue against basing clinical practice on narrow definitions of evidence, relying solely on experimental findings or, even more exclusively, on randomized controlled trials. Instead of defining best practice narrowly by the strength of the current empirical evidence used to guide clinical decisions, it should be defined broadly by what is the best information to use to make decisions for a given patient in a particular setting. Credible and accountable clinical decisions rely on a number of forms of knowledge and evidence. This evidence includes findings from across the range of research methods, including experimental, interpretive, and action research. In nursing, it also includes evidence that has arisen from the depth of practice knowledge of expert clinical nurses. Professionals, particularly advanced and expert clinicians such as critical care nurses, use clinical reasoning to guide their practice in the uncertainty of clinical practice contexts. This reasoning helps the nurse make judgments about the relevance of particular research and clinical evidence for a specific patient and setting.

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