There’s a rather wonderful and instructive irony in the celebration of International Nurses Day – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – with the theme for 2012 of ‘Closing the gap: From evidence to action’. Nightingale represents anything but a gap between evidence and action. Described by her first biographer as a ‘passionate statistician’, she was not only a researcher and research user but also a designer of research graphics. Her successes in reforming military health services and standardising hospital statistics are exemplars of how to use evidence to drive improvements in practice. In this learning activity, we’ll explore our contemporary responsibilities and opportunities for bringing evidence to everyday nursing decision-making and actions.