Clinical practice guidelines are intended to bridge the research-practice gap, yet little is known about how critical care nurses adopt guidelines. Feeding tube verification practices remain variable and have led to patient harm and death.


To examine factors influencing critical care nurses’ adoption of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) practice alert on verification of feeding tube placement and its 4 recommended clinical practices.


Critical care nurses were invited to participate in a national, online questionnaire, guided by Rogers’ diffusion of innovation framework. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used for data analysis. Alpha level was set at 0.05.


Fifty-five percent of the 370 participating nurses were aware of the practice alert, and 45% had adopted it in practice. Only 29% of the adopters had also implemented all 4 clinical practices. Significant predictors of adoption included BSN or higher nursing education and guideline characteristics of observability and trialability. Predictors of implementation of the clinical practices included staff nurse/charge nurse role, academic medical center, research/web-based information sources, and perception of a policy. Policy was the only significant predictor of implementation of all 4 practices. Adoption of the practice alert was also a predictor for 2 of 4 clinical practices.


Personal and organizational factors influenced implementation of practices associated with an AACN practice alert. Although a research-practice gap exists, the practice alert was a significant source of information for 2 of the clinical practices.

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