Date of Conferral
Deborah Y. Bauder
Evidence-based practices in nursing improve patient outcomes, decrease healthcare costs, and can be implemented with policies and procedures. However, there is limited literature describing how nurses acquire policy knowledge, the dissemination of which may require a significant investment of resources by a hospital. The purpose of this study was to learn more about how nurses obtain policy knowledge. Rogers's diffusion of innovations theory guided the examination of communication channels and how they relate to the formation of policy knowledge. The research questions were designed to gather information on the relationship of policy communication channels, demographic factors, and the frequency of document access in policy knowledge formation. This correlational study, using select subscales of the Policy Communication Index, was conducted to examine how nurses create and communicate policy knowledge. The sample included 22 nurses who practice at the bedside in a small hospital. Data sources included an anonymous online survey and frequency of policy access data. Data analyses included multiple regression, Pearson's r correlation, and Spearman's correlation of the data. The results showed that nurses report meeting discussions are the primary source of policy knowledge rather than written documents. A subset of participants who supplied an employee identification number showed a strong correlation with electronically distributed. Based on these results, nursing leaders can concentrate policy knowledge dissemination through meetings and safety huddles. The positive social change implication of this study includes better practices to convey evidence-based policy knowledge to nurses practicing at the bedside.