Skip to Main Content


This guide is designed to assist nursing students and faculty with their library research.

Evidence-Based Practice

"Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a problem-solving approach to the delivery of health care that integrates the best evidence from studies and patient care data with clinician expertise and patient preferences and values. When delivered in a context of caring and in a supportive organizational culture, the highest quality of care and best patient outcomes can be achieved" (Am Jrn of Nursing, 2013). 

Evidence-based practice relies on the data returned by research to make informed decisions regarding patient care. It is considered the current best-practice within all of healthcare and is a style of practice future nurses and health professionals should be familiar with.

Evidence-based practice encourages a cyclical thought process: 

  • 1. ASSESS the patient's clinical problem.
  • 2. ASK the patient care question that the patient's case requires. This is known as a PICO question and , more information can be located here.
  • 3. ACQUIRE evidence through conducting database research and selecting the most appropriate resources. Information on resource types can be located here.
  • 4. APPRAISE the evidence for validity and applicability to the clinical case at hand.
  • 5. APPLY the learned information to the patient's care.
  • 6. EVALUATE the patient's performance. If necessary, re-assess the patient and repeat process.

This guide will focus on steps 2-4, how to develop clinical question based on the individual patient, how to acquire appropriate resources and the various types of resources available, and how to evaluate information within those resources.

Duke University Medical Center Library and the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 2016. Introduction to Evidence-Based practice: What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)? Retrieved from

(2013). "Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step." American Journal of Nursing. Retrieved from