From the desk of Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, May 4, 2012

Editor's note: This feature is written by nursing professional development expert Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN. Each week, Adrianne writes about an important issue in the area of professional development or answers reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Journal clubs for nursing professional development specialists
Journal clubs have long been used as a way to help nurses learn. Presenting information about treatment advances, nursing care, and other relevant topics facilitates not only learning but helps nurses to polish their presentation skills as they discuss and debate the merits of various healthcare developments. A journal club for nursing professional development (NPD) specialists is another way to help busy professionals learn about advances in their particular specialty. I suggest that an NPD journal club focus on NPD topics, rather than clinical ones. That is not to imply that clinical topics are not important to us. However, there are so many options already available for clinical discussions. I think that it is extremely important to take time to focus on the specialty of NPD, something we often fail to do.

I would also suggest that an NPD journal club should include resources pertaining to continuing education and training that are not healthcare related. We are so ingrained in healthcare that we sometimes forget that our colleagues in the business world and academia, for example, face many of the same dilemmas we do. An excellent resource is the journal Training, a publication of the American Society for Training and Development ( The Society for Modeling & Simulation International is another resource, an international organization with members representing industry, government, and academia ( This society publishes several journals that could serve as an impetus for NPD journal club meetings.

A virtual journal club has the advantage of being able to network with other NPD specialists outside of your organization. Consider establishing such a journal club. Most NPD departments are not very large and expanding NPD journal club membership also expands the number of persons available to review resources and lead discussions. Start your own NPD journal club soon and be sure to include resources from business, industry, government, and academia!

Most Popular