Understanding Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines


This module opens by defining evidence-based practice and evidentialism. It explains the importance of integrating patient preferences and values and nurses’ clinical expertise with rigorous research to make decisions that lead to positive healthcare outcomes. The module emphasizes collaboration between the inter-professional healthcare team and patients and families in the context of the clinical situation to assure that the patient’s healthcare values, concerns and goals are considered when making clinical decisions. Direct experiential learning is defined as it relates to developing nursing knowledge and clinical expertise. Valid external evidence, clinical expertise and understanding patient preferences are identified as key components to the implementation of evidence-based decision making to provide the best possible patient care.

The module explains how systematic reviews of evidence along with analysis of the benefits and harms of interventions are utilized to formulate clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based recommendations to optimize clinical care. How to locate and access clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based recommendations is explained in detail. The module describes the process of developing a rigorous evidence-based practice guideline. The importance of critically appraising the guidelines and recommendations prior to implementation into the clinical practice environment is emphasized. Tools to facilitate students’ critical appraisal of clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based recommendations are provided.

Learning Materials:

Melnyk, B. M. & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (3rd ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health. ISBN: 978-1-4511-9094-6 Chapters 7 & 8

Goals Alignment:

  • University Mission-Based Outcomes – 3, 4
  • Program Learning Goals – 1, 2
  • Course Learning Objectives – 4, 5, 6

Professional Standards:

  • AACN Essential I: Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
  • AACN Essential II: Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
  • AACN Baccalaureate Essential III: Scholarship for evidence-based practice
  • AACN Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice


Evidence-Based Practice Guideline

Write a fully developed and detailed APA essay addressing each of the following points/questions. There is no required word count; be sure to completely answer all the questions for each question in detail. Separate each section in your paper with a clear heading that allows your professor to know which bullet you are addressing in that section of your paper. Sources are not required; however, if sources are used make sure to cite using the APA writing style for the essay and complete a reference page. The cover page is required. Review the rubric criteria for this assignment.

Utilize the databases identified in the text to locate an Evidence-Based Practice Guideline (EBPG), Chapter 7, Pages 184 – 185 related to your topic identified in Module 1. Please see the Module 1 Assignment. Please identify and include the database from which the guideline was obtained and please submit a copy of the guideline with your paper. Perform a rapid critical appraisal of the Evidence-Based Guideline by answering the following questions in APA format. All questions should be answered in detail and explanations offered according to guideline content when applicable.

  • Who were the guideline developers?
  • Were the developers of the guideline representative of key stakeholders in this specialty (inter-disciplinary)?
  • Who funded the guideline development?  
  • Were any of the guideline developers funded researchers of the reviewed studies?
  • Did the team have a valid development strategy?
  • Was an explicit (how decisions were made), sensible, and impartial process used to identify, select, and combine evidence?
  • Did its developers carry out comprehensive, reproducible literature review within the past 12 months of its publication/revision?
  • Were all important options and outcomes considered?
  • Is each recommendation in the guideline tagged by the level/strength of evidence upon which it is based and linked to the scientific evidence?
  • Do the guidelines make explicit recommendations (reflecting value judgments about the outcomes)?
  • Has the guideline been subjected to peer review and testing?
  • Is the intent of use provided (i.e. national, regional, local)?
  • Are the recommendations clinically relevant?
  • Will the recommendations help me in caring for my patients?
  • Are the recommendations practical/feasible? Are resources (people and equipment) available?
  • Are the recommendations a major variation from current practice? Can the outcomes be measured through standard care?

Your APA formatted paper fully answer each question in complete sentences.

Assignment Expectations:

Length: Clearly and fully answer all questions; include database; attach a copy of the guideline.

Structure: include a title page and reference page (if sources were used) in APA format. Your essay must include an introduction and a conclusion.

References: Use appropriate APA style in-text citations and references for all resources utilized to answer the questions. No minimum sources are required for this assignment; if sources are used APA format is required.