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The Clinical Inquiry Process Resource Guide

The goal of this guide is to provide nurses a resource to understand and carryout the steps of performing an evidence-based practice (EBP) project.

The First Step: Choosing A Mentor

Choosing a Mentor

Clinical inquiry is a process that individuals engage in to varying degrees within the healthcare environment. Despite one's level of experience, the process can be intricate, and seeking guidance from a mentor could enhance the process. A mentor will serve as your point of contact as you progress through the process. They will be the person with whom you communicate with throughout the process  ensuring that your initiative/project is advancing appropriately and achieving the highest possible quality.

Sources of Mentors at VCU Health​​​​:

  • Nurse Manager

  • Nurse Clinician

  • Clinical Coordinator

  • Resident Facilitator

  • Clinical Nurse III, IV or V


You should arrange meetings with your nurse clinician or nurse manager, even if they are not your designated project mentor. These meetings should occur at the project's initiation and consistently throughout its duration. Your nurse clinician or nurse manager can assist in aligning the project with unit goals. Furthermore, they should be able to identify unit resources that could contribute to the project's success. 


If you encounter a question that your mentor or other colleagues on your unit cannot address, please reach out to the relevant resources within VCU Health for answers and guidance throughout the process. The contact information for these groups is available under the "VCU Health Resources and Contacts" tab. 

Keep in mind that no initiative or project arising from the clinical inquiry process is something you can tackle alone; it requires a team effort. Therefore, whenever you require assistance or have questions, make sure to reach out.


Image:  Mentor free icons designed by Eucalyp. (n.d.). Flaticon. Retrieved August 28, 2023, from