We know that evidence-based practice (EBP) leads to improved patient outcomes. Yet it is also known that nurses identify barriers to implementing evidence-based practice, such as lack of knowledge, support, time, and authority to change practice (O'Nan, 2011). Change can be difficult, but as nurses it is our responsibility to our patients and our profession to develop and implement activities that promote evidence-based practice. One such activity that can help us overcome barriers and incorporate research findings into practice is a journal club. A journal club can be described as “the sharing of contemporary knowledge and appraising the value of that knowledge for applications in clinical practice” (Duffy, Elpers, Hobbs, Niemeyer-Hacket, & Thompson, 2011).
What are the benefits of a journal club?
What are the steps for starting a journal club?
- Sharing knowledge of current clinical research
- Facilitating the learning process
- Enhancing literature critique and appraisal skills
- Encouraging interaction and dialogue with other nurses
- Encouraging research utilization
- Promoting team building
- Promoting EBP in a cost-effective manner
- Decide if the journal club will be unit-based or hospital-wide.
- Gain the support of unit managers or senior nursing administration. Be prepared to discuss the benefits, objectives, scope of work, timetable, and key stakeholders (Chabot, et al., 2011).
- Determine meeting schedule and length.
- Identify a leader/facilitator.
- Identify the topic of interest.
- Select and disseminate article(s).
- Hold meeting and discuss the topic/appraise the evidence.
- Determine if further research or action is needed.
You can learn more by reading the articles referenced below. There are great ideas to help you get started and also to determine the best schedule for your group, the roles and responsibilities of the facilitator and members, and how to evaluate your group’s success. Also, consider the use of an online journal club
or use of the tools available from the Joanna Briggs Institute
to help you appraise the evidence. Good luck!
Chabot, J., Conners, S., DeNigris, J., Dunn, R., Panzera, A., & Patel, P. (2011). Evidence-Based Practice and a Nursing Journal Club: An Equation for Positive Patient Outcomes and Nursing Empowerment. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 227-230.
Duffy, J., Elpers, S., Hobbs, T., Niemeyer-Hacket, N., & Thompson, D. (2011). Evidence-Based Nursing Leadership: Evaluation of a Joint Academic-Service Journal Club. JONA: Journal of Nursing Administration, 422-427.
O'Nan, C. (2011). The Effect of a Journal Club on Perceived Barriers to the Utilization of Nursing Research in a Practice Setting. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 160-164.