Original Research

Rwandan nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes and application of evidence-based practice

Favorite Iradukunda, Pat M. Mayers
Curationis | Vol 43, No 1 | a2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v43i1.2005 | © 2020 Favorite Iradukunda, Pat M. Mayers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 August 2018 | Published: 28 January 2020

About the author(s)

Favorite Iradukunda, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Pat M. Mayers, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) plays a key role in improving health outcomes of a country’s population; however, the teaching of EBP is often theoretical and inconsistent, resulting in negative attitudes and limited application.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes and application of EBP by nursing students at a school of nursing in Rwanda.

Method: A total of 82 third- and fourth-year nursing students completed the survey. Univariate statistical analyses were performed to explore the distribution of data. Chi-square tests were utilised to examine the relation between knowledge, attitudes and application of EBP with the year of study.

Results: Most students reported being knowledgeable of the steps of EBP, with a range of 84% – 92%. However, 50% reported negative attitudes and only 12% reported daily searches for evidence. The main reported barriers to the application of EBP were lack of knowledge, lack of time and lack of examples or role models.

Conclusion: Knowledge about EBP does not necessarily positively influence student attitudes. Evidence-based practice should be integrated into the theoretical and practical component of the nursing curriculum to promote the effective application of EBP by nursing students.


nursing education; evidence-based practice; survey; Rwanda; knowledge, attitudes and application


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