Evidence-Based Practice Competencies and the New EBP-C Credential: Keys to Achieving the Quadruple Aim in Health Care

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a systematic approach to clinical decision making that integrates the best available research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences and values. EBP has been shown to improve health care quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs (Melnyk et al., 2014). However, many health professionals lack the necessary competencies to implement EBP in their practice settings, which hinders the achievement of the quadruple aim of health care: enhancing patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs, and improving the work life of health care providers (Feeley, 2017).

To address this gap, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare have developed a new credential for health professionals who demonstrate EBP competencies: the Evidence-Based Practice Competency (EBP-C) credential. The EBP-C credential is based on a set of core competencies that reflect the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for EBP (Melnyk et al., 2017). The EBP-C credential is designed to recognize and reward health professionals who are proficient in EBP and to motivate others to develop their EBP competencies.

The EBP-C credential is expected to have several benefits for health care organizations, health professionals, and patients. First, it will provide a standardized and objective measure of EBP competencies that can be used for hiring, promotion, and evaluation purposes. Second, it will foster a culture of EBP within health care organizations that supports continuous learning and improvement. Third, it will enhance the credibility and confidence of health professionals who practice EBP and increase their satisfaction and engagement. Fourth, it will improve patient outcomes by ensuring that health care decisions are based on the best available evidence.

The EBP-C credential is currently under development and will be launched in 2020. The credential will be offered to registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, and other health professionals who meet the eligibility criteria and pass a rigorous examination. The credential will be valid for five years and will require recertification through continuing education or re-examination. The credential will be aligned with the Magnet Recognition ProgramĀ® and other national quality initiatives that promote EBP.

The EBP-C credential is a key strategy to advance EBP in health care and achieve the quadruple aim. By recognizing and rewarding health professionals who demonstrate EBP competencies, the credential will enhance the quality and value of health care delivery and improve patient outcomes.


Feeley D. (2017). The triple aim or the quadruple aim? Four points to help set your strategy [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.ihi.org/communities/blogs/the-triple-aim-or-the-quadruple-aim-four-points-to-help-set-your-strategy

Melnyk BM , Gallagher-Ford L , Long LE , Fineout-Overholt E (2014). The establishment of evidence-based practice competencies for practicing registered nurses and advanced practice nurses essay in real-world clinical settings: proficiencies to improve healthcare quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing , 11(1):5-15.

Melnyk BM , Gallagher-Ford L , Zellefrow C , Tucker S , Thomas B , Sinnott LT , Tan A (2017). The First U.S. Study on Nurses’ Evidence-Based Practice Competencies Indicates Major Deficits That Threaten Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Patient Outcomes. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing , 14(1):16-25.

Published by
Write essays
View all posts