Attitudes and resistance to change among nurses as a barrier to EBP implementation

Ideally, nurses comprise the largest group of health care providers and play an integral role in the promotion and delivery of quality health care. EBP is important to professional development, capabilities, and responsibility, and has become a necessary subject to be integrated into daily practice. However, despite its importance in the clinical practice, barriers such as attitudes and resistance to change among nurses have been identified to hinder the implementation of EBP. In light of this, we identified two ways to address this problem and overcome the barrier.
Considering the elements associated with nurse attitudes and resistance to change as barriers to EBP implementation, we propose the adoption of an empirical-rational and power-coercive strategy to overcome the barriers. In this case, the empirical-rational strategy posits that nurses are rational and behave based on rational self-interest (Salam & Alghamdi, 2016). Nurses are willing to accept change for as long as they know of the benefits or the change is justified. This strategy stresses the importance of adopting proper communication and the proffering of incentives. Additionally, the strategy assumes that there are some nurses willing to change influenced by other nurses who are already convinced to adapt to change. The second strategy is the power-coercive strategy where managerial influence is used to impose change on nurses (p. 82). However, we propose that instead of adopting a domineering authority and imposing changes, nurse leaders or managers should lead by example. In this case, they should adopt the servant-leadership style and show the others by examples the benefits of implementing EBP in their practice. The strategy is related to the empirical-rational strategy in that, nurse managers or leaders seek to motivate the nurses into implementing EBP through their leadership.

Salam, M., & Alghamdi, K. S. (2016). Nurse educators: Introducing a change and evading resistance. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(11), 80-83.

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