Engaging Students as Evidence-Based Practice Ambassadors in a Rural Hospital


  • Susan A. Seibert University of Southern Indiana
  • Jennifer L. Evans University of Southern Indiana


Purpose: A regional research consortium provided a forum to optimize resources and fill gaps in services for all stakeholders. Through the consortium, an academic practice partnership was formed with a state university’s nursing program to assist a rural, critical access hospital’s nursing staff gain evidence-based practice (EBP) knowledge and skills. The aim of this project was to create, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of student led workshops to educate and empower critical access hospital staff nurses with EBP knowledge and skills.

Sample:  A convenience sample of staff nurses who attended monthly staff meetings was used.  Sixteen nurses completed the pre-test, and 19 nurses completed the post-test.  

Method:  The EBP Implementation Scale and EBP Beliefs Scale was used in a pretest/posttest design to evaluate staff nurse beliefs about EBP and implementation of EBP in their nursing practice.

Findings:  The nurses reported increased knowledge and application of EBP.  The students developed professional and leadership skills.

Conclusions:  A healthcare research consortium provided a forum that connected academia and practice and fostered sharing of expertise and resources. Partnerships between nursing programs and rural, critical access hospitals may be an option for optimizing resources.

Keywords: critical access hospital, rural hospital, evidence-based practice, nursing students, academic-practice partnerships

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v21i2.687 

Acknowledgments: Thank you to the staff and administration at Gibson General Hospital for their cooperation and support of this project. Thank you to these former students who demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout this project: Amber Parsons, BSN, RN; Katie Halbig, BSN, RN; Rebecca Horn, BSN, RN; Jenna Spiller BSN, RN; Kim Bell, BSN, RN; Rachel Goldstein, BSN, RN; Lucy Hardison, BSN, RN; Anne Kiboi, BSN, RN; Anna Heckman, BSN, RN; Sarah Mehringer, BSN, RN; Allison Schroering, BSN, RN; and Grace Voyles, BSN, RN.


Author Biographies

Susan A. Seibert, University of Southern Indiana

Instructor of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Jennifer L. Evans, University of Southern Indiana

Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions