Aims and objectives To describe beliefs about evidence‐based practice and record levels of implementation among community health nurses working independently and in community healthcare centres in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. Background In many settings, evidence‐based practice is considered a key means of delivering better and secure health care. However, there is a paucity of published studies on the implementation of evidence‐based practice in community health care. Design Cross‐sectional descriptive study (n = 100). Methods Beliefs about evidence‐based practice and levels of implementation were measured using validated scales developed by Melnyk et al. (Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 5, 2008, 208). Information on respondents’ sociodemographic and professional characteristics was collected. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results The final response rate was 32.3% (n = 100). More than half of respondents had previously heard about evidence‐based practice; most believed in the value of using evidence to guide their practice and were prepared to improve their skills to be able to do so. However, the rate of implementation of evidence‐based practice in daily practice in the 8 weeks before the survey was poor. Statistically significant positive associations were found between beliefs about evidence‐based practice and how respondents had heard about it and between implementation rates and whether they had heard about evidence‐based practice and how they had done so. Evidence‐based practices requiring scientific knowledge and skills were implemented less frequently. Greater professional community healthcare experience and management roles did not increase implementation of evidence‐based practice. Conclusions The systematic implementation of evidence‐based practice by community health nurses working independently and in healthcare centres in Valais was rare, despite their positive beliefs about it. Relevance to clinical practice These results revealed the level of implementation of evidence‐based practice by nurses in community healthcare settings in Valais. Further research is required to better understand their needs and expectations and to develop suitable strategies that will allow the integration of evidence‐based practice into nurses’ daily practice. What does this paper contribute to the wider global clinical community? • To the best of our knowledge, this article is the first investigation of beliefs about and implementation of EBP among community health nurses working independently and in healthcare centres in Switzerland. • The article reveals low rates of implementation of EBP by responding community health nurses, despite their positive beliefs about it. • Results suggest the need for programmes of continuing education and a concerted effort to support EBP in community care settings to ensure better healthcare delivery.