Ask the expert: Running an effective journal club

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, August 4, 2009

This week, a reader asks about guidelines for journal clubs. Read the response from Joan Monchak Lorenz, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, nurse manager at the Sheridan VA Medical Center in Sheridan, WY.

Q: What guidelines should we follow for a new journal club?

A: Starting a journal club is a great way to read articles that will help update practice. The journal club's goals may vary by setting and the expertise of its members. In the beginning, a goal might be to learn how to evaluate articles critically. Later, goals may include reading articles to keep up to date with current research.

Here are some guidelines for journal clubs:

  • Set meeting schedules ahead of time and at times of best staff availability, such as lunchtime or change of shift.
  • Select topics that are clinically relevant to you and the other members of the group. Journal clubs work best if you identify topics that are relevant to your practice setting.
  • Distribute copies of the article in advance to allow enough time for everyone to read them before the meeting.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? If you would like us to consider your query for publication, please e-mail it to senior managing editor Rebecca Hendren at

Most Popular