Barriers and facilitators of nurses' use of clinical practice guidelines: An integrative review

Jin Jun, Christine T. Kovner, Amy Witkoski Stimpfel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Preventable harm continues to be one of the leading causes of patient death. Each year about 400,000 patients die from sepsis, hospital acquired infections, venous thromboembolism, and pulmonary embolism. However, as shown in the recent reduction in hospital acquired infections, the number of deaths could be reduced if healthcare providers used evidence-based therapies, which are often included in clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review is to appraise and synthesize the current literature on barriers to and facilitators in the use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) by registered nurses. Design: Whittemore and Knafl integrative review methodology was used. Primary quantitative and qualitative studies about the nurses' use of CPGs and published in peer-reviewed journals between January 2000 and August 2015 were included. Methods: The Critical Skills Appraisal Program (CASP) was used to critically appraise the quality of sixteen selected quantitative and qualitative studies. Results: Internal factors were attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge whereas format and usability of CPGs, resources, leadership, and organizational culture were external factors influencing CPG use. Conclusion: Given each barrier and facilitator, interventions and policies can be designed to increase nurses' use of CPGs to deliver more evidence based therapy. In order to improve the use of CPGs and to ensure high quality care for all patients, nurses must actively participate in development, implementation, and maintenance of CPGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Barriers
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Facilitators
  • Implementation
  • Nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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