University of Technology Sydney

92461 Evidence for Nursing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject develops skills in accessing and appraising research evidence upon which to base nursing practice. This subject builds on students' understandings of the utility of published practice guidelines. Focus is on selection and appraisal of published research studies and applying the evidence to selected clinical situations. Quantitative and qualitative research are introduced and their values in answering different types of clinical questions discussed. Popular health claims are evaluated as a method of understanding how the indicators of clinical effectiveness are used. The appraisal of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines is also introduced.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Discuss the range of evidence and the role of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in clinical judgement and its relevance in nursing practice from the perspective of a beginning practitioner who is a consumer of nursing research and who will have responsibility for participating in an EBP culture. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
B. Examine the place of specific forms of evidence and research evidence in supporting practice. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
C. Demonstrate basic understanding of common types of quantitative research designs (survey, experimental, quasi experimental, cohort, case control) and essential steps in the research process. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
D. Develop focused searchable questions to address areas of clinical uncertainty. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
E. Use information technology to locate articles to support practice: including research evidence, systematic reviews, and clinical practice guidelines. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
F. Appraise quantitative and qualitative research in order to understand the effectiveness and suitability of evidence when applied to clinical nursing problems. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
G. Extract the clinical relevance of published research. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)
H. Understand the impact of the evidence-based practice movement on health consumers and the pitfalls for consumers in popular health claims published in the media. (RN Standards for Practice 1, 5, 6)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Embody a professional disposition committed to excellence, equity and sustainability (1.0)
  • Demonstrate the characteristics and skills required for professional engagement and effective lifelong learning (1.2)
  • Engage in person-centred care that is appropriately sensitive to the needs of individuals, families and communities (2.0)
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully with diverse groups (3.0)
  • Inquire critically to assess a body of evidence to inform practice (4.0)
  • Demonstrate information literacy and technology skills and effectively apply these in the exercise of clinical judgement (4.1)
  • Evaluate and apply effective and creative solutions to the improvement of nursing practice and patient care (4.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning the key concepts of evidence based practice in health care will occur through a combination of face- to- face and online lectures and tutorials including interactive learning activities. A mixture of face-to-face and online tutorials will use case studies, scenarios, interactive workshops and practical examples from the contemporary peer-reviewed literature and will enable students to quickly clarify complex research concepts. It is expected that students complete the preparation learning activities before the class. Part of the content for this subject will be delivered as online learning modules, facilitating self-paced, and time-flexible learning. Students will also benefit from active, engaging, and collaborative learning experiences through working within teams in the class and participating in online peer discussions. Online library modules and group and individual consultations with a health librarian will help students enhance their skills in systematic literature searching. The online Blackboard teaching site will be used exclusively for posting all lecture materials, preparation readings and staff/student communication.

Content (topics)

Background to the evidence-based practice (EBP) movement and its place in nursing and other health professions: The place of this subject in the curriculum; its relevance to the students as a future practitioner; difference between research and other forms of knowing

Research design and the different forms of quantitative and qualitative research common to support evidence based practice and their relationship to the levels of evidence

What is evidence based practice: Defining the clinical problem and developing a searchable (as opposed to a re-searchable) question; types of research literature available, purposes of each. How to search and extract best available evidence

Critical appraisal of different approaches to research (RCT, systematic review, qualitative research)

  • Internal validity: Were groups and subjects representative and comparable?
  • Outcome measurements
  • Placebo effect and its relevance in research
  • Probability, statistical significance, confidence intervals, clinical significance and treatment effect
  • Data analysis techniques
  • Extracting the clinical message and understanding the relationship between and relevance of research to clinical practice

Unpacking the meaning of claims made in the popular media about the impact of treatments and the prevalence of diseases

Analysing the application of research to practice including understanding and negotiating patients preference of care and outcome of research supported interventions.


Assessment task 1: Finding the evidence


This assessment helps students clarify their question and practise database search. In the development of this assessment, students will receive direct feedback to help with their assessment and give them an early indication of their progress in the subject.

Student will receive comprehensive feedback on Assessment 1 in preparation for Assessment 2 and Assessment 3.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2 and 3.0

Weight: 15%

Template provided.

Assessment task 2: Understanding of research concepts


The intent of this assessment is to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of research concepts and process and apply their knowledge to case studies and scenarios.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, F, G and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2, 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2

Weight: 35%

Template provided.

Assessment task 3: Using evidence to inform clinical decision making


The intent of this assignment is to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to access research, read and understand research papers and use the information obtained from the research to answer a clinical question.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C, E, F and G

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0

Weight: 50%

Template provided.

Required texts

Cullum N, Ciliska D, Haynes B, Marks S. (eds) 2013, Evidence-based nursing: an introduction, John Wiley & Sons.


Hall, H. R. & Roussel, L. A. 2016. Evidence-Based Practice, Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Lobiondo-Wood, G, Haber, J. 2017. Nursing Research - E-Book: Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Parahoo, K. 2014. Nursing Research: Principles, Process and Issues, Palgrave Macmillan.

PortneyY, L. G. 2020. Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Evidence-Based Practice, FA Davis.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.