HealthOctober 16, 2014

Why start a nursing journal club?

Journal clubs can help nurses stay up to date on the latest evidence-based practice findings.

We know that following evidence-based practice (EBP) can lead to improved patient outcomes. But obstacles to nurses doing the research, such as lack of support, time, and authority to make changes can be barriers to EBP implementation.

Starting a journal club can help take the difficulty out of research and allow nurses to come together to discuss important treatment best practices. Your nurse educator can play a pivotal role in EBP implementation by starting and leading a nursing journal club.

What is a nursing journal club?

The purpose of a journal club is to review specific research studies and to discuss the implications on clinical practice. Journal clubs provide a forum for a collective effort to keep up with scientific literature. The leader should provide questions and talking points to stimulate journal club discussion in which participants can evaluate new research and its applicability to care.

Benefits of a nursing journal club

There are many benefits to participating in a journal club, including keeping abreast of the latest and best clinical research, promoting awareness of current nursing research findings, learning to critique and appraise research, and encouraging research utilization. Journal clubs also encourage interaction and dialogue among nurses and promote team building.

How to start a nursing journal club

The American Journal of Critical Care provides some tips on starting a journal club:

  • Post and distribute copies of the research article and the journal club discussion questions prior to each meeting.
  • Set up a convenient meeting time and location.
  • Identify a facilitator for the meeting (Initially, this could be a clinical educator, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse manager, or senior staff member, with journal club members then taking turns to lead subsequent journal club sessions.)
  • Encourage active participation of those attending by using the discussion questions.
  • Evaluate the journal club. At the end of the session, gather feedback from participants.
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