How nursing leaders promote evidence-based practice implementation at point-of-care: A four-country exploratory study

Alison L. Kitson, Gillian Harvey, Wendy Gifford, Sarah C. Hunter, Janet Kelly, Greta G. Cummings, Anna Ehrenberg, Roman Kislov, Lena Pettersson, Lars Wallin, Paul Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To describe strategies nursing leaders use to promote evidence-based practice implementation at point-of-care using data from health systems in Australia, Canada, England and Sweden. Design: A descriptive, exploratory case-study design based on individual interviews using deductive and inductive thematic analysis and interpretation. Methods: Fifty-five nursing leaders from Australia, Canada, England and Sweden were recruited to participate in the study. Data were collected between September 2015 and April 2016. Results: Nursing leaders both in formal managerial roles and enabling roles across four country jurisdictions used similar strategies to promote evidence-based practice implementation. Nursing leaders actively promote evidence-based practice implementation, work to influence evidence-based practice implementation processes and integrate evidence-based practice implementation into everyday policy and practices. Conclusion: The deliberative, conscious strategies nursing leaders used were consistent across country setting, context and clinical area. These strategies were based on a series of activities and interventions around promoting, influencing and integrating evidence-based practice implementation. We conjecture that these three key strategies may be linked to two overarching ways of demonstrating effective evidence-based practice implementation leadership. The two overarching modes are described as mediating and adapting modes, which reflect complex, dynamic, relationship-focused approaches nursing leaders take towards promoting evidence-based practice implementation. Impact: This study explored how nursing leaders promote evidence-based practice implementation. Acknowledging and respecting the complex work of nursing leaders in promoting evidence-based practice implementation through mediating and adapting modes of activity is necessary to improve patient outcomes and system effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2447-2457
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • evidence-based practice
  • implementation
  • international comparison
  • nursing leaders
  • qualitative study


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