Students are exposed to a wide variety of evidence in their nursing classes. In many cases relevant current studies are cited and summarized in classes frequently in PowerPoint format. This simple strategy asks faculty to level the type of evidence used in the research study when discussing it in class. If PowerPoint format is used, the level of evidence can be cited at the bottom of the slide. Viewing the level of evidence with the research study summary should provide application of the information about levels of evidence to the current topic under study.
Students should be exposed to exemplars in evidence-based practice, PICO format and levels of evidence early in the nursing curriculum. For later classes, only a few slides (see PowerPoint presentation attachment) at the beginning of a course may be necessary to reacquaint the student with major principles of evidence-based practice and levels of evidence. Since there are several rating guides for levels of evidence, several sources might be used. We used the following sources for evidence-based nursing conceptual content and for grading level of evidence:
Melnyk, B. & Fine-Overholt, E. (2005). Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
Siwek, J., Gourlay, M., Slawson, D. & Shaughnessy, A. (2002). How to write an evidence-based clinical review article. Am Fam Physician 65, 251-258.