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Abstract

In our increasingly diverse environment, nurses are obligated to question the meaning of “evidence” when history has shown that our emphasis on the empirical and quantitative data has shaped our biases against knowledge unknown to us. This bias has limited our ability to provide patient or person-centered care, and can be harmful to patients. Nurses are encouraged to reflect on what evidence means in their practice, and to make sure harm is not caused to patients by dismissing evidence yet unknown to us or accepting “truths” not fully understood by us. The authors use composite case studies to share experiences from their clinical practice on how “evidence,” or lack of, can challenge our obligation to “do no harm.” Curiosity and skepticism should guide nursing practice, and every nurse should strive to contribute to questioning accepted practice and finding answers to the unknown to meet the needs of our diverse patients.

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