PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Journal clubs enlighten nurses, improve practice
Sophia Mikos-Schild EdD, MSN, RN, CNOR
Patricia Endara MBA, MS, RN, CEN
Marilou Calvario BSN, RN, CPAN

October 2010 
Volume 40  Number 10
Pages 41 - 43
  PDF Version Available!

JOURNAL CLUBS CAN bridge the gap between practice and research. By discussing research about evidence-based practice (EBP), nurses can stay current with scientific advances and apply best practices in their daily patient care. Journal clubs also provide other perks to nurses, such as providing a continuing-education activity with contact hours, enhancing annual performance evaluations, and contributing to leadership development.1This article describes how we started and implemented journal clubs in our two-hospital medical center. You can adapt our information to start a journal club where you work, too.At our facility, nurses suggest topics and then educators obtain several articles appropriate for group discussions on selected nursing units. All the nurses in the club then choose which article to review. Initially, educators facilitate discussions by teaching nurses about statistical analysis, research design, instrumentation, and other components of peer-reviewed scholarly research articles. (For more on finding useful research articles, see Digging deeper into a topic.)In subsequent meetings, nurses take turns leading the discussion. Some meetings are half an hour long and some are an hour; one or two articles are discussed, respectively.Each unit holds its own journal club in the unit's conference room each month. We keep meetings informal and use audiovisual aids such as a laptop, LCD projector, and Internet. The ED provides a good example of how journal club meetings can improve everyday practice.Nurses in the ED initiated a journal club with the goal of assessing clinical practices and making changes based on the latest evidence. The clinical practice and professional development committees worked together to choose articles based on relevance to practice, present application, and policies currently up for revision.Initially, members of the two committees met and brainstormed about challenges surrounding the journal club. Identified barriers included limited

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