Ask the expert: What is a journal club?

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, December 11, 2009

This week, Suzanne C. Beyea, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Mary Jo Slattery, RN, MS, discuss how a journal club can help nurses get started in evidence-based nursing practice.

Q: What is a journal club and how do they help implement evidence-based practices?

A: A journal club consists of a group of nurses (or other members of the healthcare team) who meet regularly to discuss and critique research articles appearing in scientific journals. Creating a journal club is a good way to get started in evidence-based nursing practice. Journal clubs provide nurses with the opportunity and skills to read and critically evaluate current research and to determine its applicability to their practice area.

The journal club’s goals may vary by setting. In the beginning, a goal might be to learn how to appraise research and other evidence-based practice articles critically. Later goals may include keeping up to date with the current research in the field or evaluating current practice based on the evidence related to a particular issue. There are many approaches to journal clubs, so it is important to identify which formats will work best in your organization.

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