1. Halm, Margo A. PhD, RN, APRN-BC, CCRN

Article Content

Susan Hamer and Gill Collinson. Elsevier, NY, 2005. $37.00. ISBN 0-7020-2776-6. 221 pp.


Achieving Evidence-Based Practice is an excellent primer on evidence-based practice (EBP) for advanced practice nurses in all roles, especially clinical nurse specialists who are instrumental in effecting organizational change for best patient and family outcomes. Using a clear and practical approach, Hamer and Collinson provide an overview of EBP, from understanding and interpreting research findings to implementing and managing practice changes. The organizing framework of the text focuses on 3 main sections: (1) Looking for the evidence, including definitions of EBP, types and levels of evidence, and practical strategies for finding and appraising available evidence; (2) applying the evidence using a variety of methods and in different organizational contexts for both practice and professional development; and (3) reflecting on the evidence, with an appreciation of understanding dimensions of personal, organizational, and ethical change components. This edition of Achieving Evidence-Based Practice is updated to account for changes in policy in United Kingdom's National Health System and to consider the role of clinical governance in EBP. Although it is interesting to read about policies, systems, and healthcare changes in United Kingdom, readers will need to apply the discussed concepts to the context of the healthcare system of their country of practice.


The text is well written, with a very user-friendly style. Checklists of key issues are found at the beginning of each chapter, and the authors have creatively folded in numerous examples and questions to clarify theory and provide opportunities for reflective learning. A detailed index is offered, and although a glossary is not included, relevant terms are defined throughout. Illustrations are nicely peppered throughout to visually highlight examples that aid understanding of EBP concepts and processes. Clinical nurse specialists and graduate students could use the handbook as a step-by-step guide for strategies to apply in each phase of an EBP project. The chapter "Audit," the process of evaluating whether nursing care provided meets the standard set, may be especially helpful for clinical nurse specialists who are responsible for guiding and mentoring nursing staff to ultimately to advance nursing practice and effect positive change in patient/family outcomes.