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journal clubs, second life, virtual



  1. Billingsley, Luanne DNP, MBA, APRN, ACNS-BC
  2. Rice, Karen DNS, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANP
  3. Bennett, Marsha DNS, APRN, ACRN
  4. Thibeau, Shelley MSN, RNC-NIC


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-methods pilot study was to explore the feasibility of using Second Life to conduct research and to describe nurses' experiences in using Second Life to facilitate nursing journal clubs.


Methods: A QUAN->qual sequential design using survey and qualitative methods was used to guide scientific inquiry. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and t, Mann-Whitney U, and [chi]2 tests were used to test for presurvey and postsurvey group differences. Journal club screencast recordings were thematically analyzed.


Setting: This study was conducted in an Internet-accessible, 3-dimensional multiuser virtual environment.


Sample: A convenience sample of registered nurses from 7 facilities consented to participate. Completed data from 29 presurveys and 20 postsurveys were included in data analyses.


Findings: Overall, nurses reported a benefit in using Second Life to facilitate journal clubs. The Mann-Whitney U test identified (P < .05) improvement in 7 of 8 critical appraisal competencies after journal club activities: determining design, determining population, interpreting statistics, linking findings/conclusions, identifying limitations, identifying implications, and interpreting qualitative findings. Qualitative analyses of screencastings validated reports of improved critical appraisal competencies and identified 3 inworld themes: presence, learning strategies, and learning outcomes.


Conclusions: Registered nurse study participants reported a benefit of using Second Life for nursing journal clubs. Participants perceived and demonstrated improvement in critical appraisal competencies.


Implications: Further research is warranted on outcomes associated with nurses' appraisal of evidence for application to practice using a multiuser virtual environment.