Unit culture and research-based nursing practice in acute care

Carolyn J. Pepler, Linda Edgar, Sara Frisch, Janet Rennick, Marika Swidzinski, Carole White, Thomas G. Brown, Julie Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The purpose of this multiple-case study of research utilization (RU) was to examine whether and how nursing practices in acute-care units are built on research and to identify potential explanations for the observed patterns. Open-ended data were collected from staff nurses and nursing leaders on 8 acute-care units through interviews and observation. RU varied within and across units, but unit culture emerged as the principal factor linked to patterns of RU. Unit-culture themes that formed the links were harmony of research perspective, motivation to learn, goal orientation, creativity, critical inquiry, mutual respect, and maximization of resources. The findings provide a rich description that could serve as a basis for self-assessment of unit culture in inpatient and outpatient acute-care units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
JournalCanadian Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Evidence-based nursing practice
  • Multiple case study
  • Organizational culture
  • Research-based nursing practice
  • Unit culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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