In 2010, the DAISY Foundation decided to begin funding research studies and evidence-based practice (EBP) projects as a way to support nurses’ extraordinary drive to deliver compassionate and excellent care. We had experienced nurses’ clinical excellence when our son, Patrick, was hospitalized for eight weeks with the auto-immune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in 1999. Patrick’s nurses handled a very complex disease and treatment plan without missing a beat. And while they were doing so, they treated him—and our family—with unexpected sensitivity and kindness that made a great difference to us during those worst weeks of our lives. After we started the DAISY Foundation, we read countless DAISY Award nominations that described not only the compassion nurses provide but also clinical excellence, which triggered our interest in how the practice of nursing acquires its know-how. Honestly, at the time, we knew virtually nothing about EBP.
Early on as we worked to develop a successful, sustainable grant program, we were introduced to the EBP team at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. DAISY Foundation board members guiding the development of this part of our work made clear to us that to do it right, we needed the input of these incredibly experienced, highly respected inspirational leaders doing groundbreaking work with the Iowa Model. Not being a nurse, I was more than a little intimidated when first introduced to Drs. Laura Cullen, Kirsten Hanrahan, and Sharon Tucker. However, it quickly became apparent to me that in addition to being nurse scientists, they were educators and mentors to our DAISY team as we launched the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects.
The result was a thoughtful grant offering to nurses whose focus is on treatment of patients with cancer or auto-immune disease—since Patrick had both during his 33 years. Laura volunteered her time as a grant reviewer, providing not just a yes or no to each applicant but also detailed feedback as to how to improve the proposal to make it fundable. She applied principles of EBP to our process to ensure the applications we received were high quality and ready for implementation. Over time, these applications served as evidence of how the program and our communication were working. To improve the quality of applications, Laura and her grant-panel colleagues evaluated the body of applications, looked for the gaps, and filled them with important improvements that we piloted and then rolled out. She was relentless in her drive for application and project-implementation excellence. And she was wonderfully patient with me, answering my countless questions and ensuring I understood her thinking and recommendations.
As I read Evidence-Based Practice in Action, Second Edition, I could hear the voices of Laura and her colleagues, whom I’ve gotten to know over the years. This book is the step-by-step guide to nursing excellence through EBP, and it should be required reading for every nurse and student who has a clinical question they want answered—no matter their level of experience in EBP. The process is broken down into manageable steps, with easy-to-use guidance in applying reliable techniques and tools. I am deeply grateful to the authors for taking the time to craft this second edition, making it highly relevant to today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment and nursing practice. The book’s focus on how to sustain a culture of inquiry through EBP, inclusiveness, and creativity in designing EBP projects is fitting. Finally, the authors’ attention to patients and families and the shared decision-making that healthcare entails today touch my heart.
I know this book will be an extremely valuable resource because I have seen this model in extraordinary action. As the DAISY Foundation continues its commitment to recognizing exceptional nurses, I will also continue my gratitude for all the thoughtful knowledge the EBP team at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics provided us. As you put this application-oriented resource to practice, I know you will find your own success in EBP implementation, adoption, and sustained use.
–Bonnie Barnes, LHD, FAAN
Co-founder, The DAISY Foundation
P.S. Many organizations, including the DAISY Foundation, offer grants for EBP research. The editors urge all readers to seek local, regional, national, and international funding to support their research and implement EBP change.