There are innumerable aspects of critical care nursing where we have limited or no research basis for practice. But where evidence-based practice is available, it must be universally disseminated and applied so that all patients may benefit. Part of our responsibility as healthcare professionals is to contribute to this dissemination process so that optimal patient outcomes can be attained. Quality care should not exist on a patchwork basis across the United States. Patients have a right to expect that we afford them the best care that science presently offers. Care should rely as much as possible on research-based evidence of what helps and hinders optimal patient outcomes. When these indicators of what helps versus hinders optimal outcomes are known, patients should be able to depend on us to provide care on that basis. They should not need to rely on their zip code to receive optimal care.
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