Document Type

White Paper

Original Publication Date



This is an update of the VCU Health System inquiry Process Diagram that was created in 2015. This updated version provides more details in each step in the process. The intent is to make the process when it comes to either evidence-based practice, performance improvement or research questions more clear.

Original Version:

Date of Submission

August 2018


This diagram outlines the nursing inquiry process to help answer questions that arise in the clinical setting. The diagram further helps a nurse understand how to distinguish whether a situation calls for evidence-based practice, performance improvement or research. It also guides a nurse through clarifying the initial question, gathering the evidence, and through each step in the subsequent process.


This diagram is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License (

Is Part Of

VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications

Inquiry Process Diagram Final - Aug 22 - BW .pdf (373 kB)
Black and white version of the diagram.