KU refers to the use of various kinds of knowledge, including empirics, aesthetics, personal knowledge and ethics (Knowledge Utilization Studies Program 2003). Nursing leaders such as Abdellah (1970) and Lindeman (1975) identified the need to use scientific evidence to improve the quality of nursing practice. This paper proposes one such theoretical model, the Joint Venture Model of Knowledge Utilization (JVMKU). Key components of the JVMKU that emerged from an extensive multidisciplinary review of the literature include leadership, emotional intelligence, person, message, empowered workplace and the socio-political environment. Research utilization is defined as a process that transforms research knowledge into practice (Stetler 2001).
The JVMKU includes a global analysis of the factors influencing KU and provides a guide for knowledge use at both the local level of nursing units and at the organizational level. Nurses in both leadership and point-of-care positions will recognize the concepts identified and will be able to apply this model for KU in their own workplace for assessment of areas requiring strengthening and support. The need to increase evidence-based nursing practice has grown within the nursing community as the means by which we improve the outcomes of practice. Despite advances in knowledge generation, the gap in knowledge transfer from research to practice continues. KU models have moved beyond factors affecting the individual nurse to a broader perspective that includes the practice environment and the socio-political context. A multinational, interdisciplinary think tank, sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau to establish the preferred future for the nursing profession, reported that nurses can make the strongest contributions to population health through the delivery of evidence-based care, policy development and advocacy (Sigma Theta Tau 2004). "Innovations in Knowledge Transfer and Continuity of Care." Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 36(2): 89-103.