Are we doing what is best for our patients with the current evidence available to us?

Nursing has deeply rooted traditions. As far back as Florence Nightingale in the 19th century, nurses prided themselves on patient advocacy, infection control (before germ theory), and physical care of the entire body, not limiting the focus to management of disease or signs and symptoms.11 These early roots established the philosophy of nursing. Nurses labeled what they do as caring or the art of nursing.

Critical care nurses find themselves in a unique situation. We have our feet deeply rooted in the art of nursing. Yet our hands and minds reach for the scientific basis that our highly technical, physiological, and pharmacological specialty requires. To base our practice on science, we must use research to answer questions, establish protocols, and promote...

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