Choosing the best evidence to guide clinical practice: Application of AACN levels of evidence

Mary H. Peterson, Susan Barnason, Bill Donnelly, Kathleen Hill, Helen Miley, Lisa Riggs, Kimberly Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Evidence-based nursing care is informed by research findings, clinical expertise, and patients' values, and its use can improve patients' outcomes. Use of research evidence in clinical practice is an expected standard of practice for nurses and health care organizations, but numerous barriers exist that create a gap between new knowledge and implementation of that knowledge to improve patient care. To help close that gap, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has developed many resources for clinicians, including practice alerts and a hierarchal rating system for levels of evidence. Using the levels of evidence, nurses can determine the strength of research studies, assess the findings, and evaluate the evidence for potential implementation into best practice. Evidence-based nursing care is a lifelong approach to clinical decision making and excellence in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Care Nurse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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