Journal clubs to promote evidence based nursing practice

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat, on Wednesday 17th February 2016 between 20:00 – 21:00 hrs (GMT), will focus on tips and tricks to facilitating nursing journal clubs. The Twitter Chat will be hosted by Dr. Stephen McKeever (@Stephen8McK) who is a Senior Lecturer in Children’s Nursing in the Department of Children’s Nursing at London South Bank University and an Honorary Research Nurse in the Nursing Research Department of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account. If you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account contributing is straightforward. You can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc (all Tweets), or contribute by creating and sending a tweet (tweets are text messages limited to 140 characters) to @EBNursingBMJ and add #ebnjc (the EBN chat hash tag) at the end of your tweet, this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

Since Sir William Osler first attempted to ensure current literature was accessible to those who could not afford it, journal clubs have been an important element of healthcare education 1. Subsequently, whist they are often more prevalent in medical education 2, journal clubs can still play an important role for nurse education and ongoing development 3.

Journal clubs can be particularly useful in; keeping up-to-date on practice, improving reading habits and critical appraisal skills, facilitating learning and openness to evidence based practice principles, and promoting multidisciplinary cooperation 2 4. It is proposed that developing these skills can be effective in overcoming some of the often cited barriers to implementing of evidence based nursing practice 3.

Participation in a journal club, with all its inherent different levels of engagement, are all with merit. However, whilst some journal clubs can facilitate inter-professional collaboration, if nursing learning needs are not met 3 then nurses will disengage with the format. There is an increased potential for this to happen if the opportunities to discuss issues related to nursing practice are not offered. If these opportunities are provided however, it enables a clinical context, and appropriateness to a particular setting, to be derived and improvements in practice to be explored. Thus, in some circumstances the formation of a nursing focused journal club are warranted.

There are a variety of available journal clubs formats these include face-to-face and online (which can either be real-time or asynchronous). Often though formats require some local adaptation. Regardless of the format, maintaining enthusiasm can be problematic 4. Whilst successful feature of journal clubs have been identified 2 4. To encourage continued participation requires innovation. In on such a situation, a competition format was added to an already existing journal club 5. This demonstrated a positive response from nursing staff and continues to grow in participant numbers.

The #ebnjc twitter chat, associated with this blog, aims to provide a forum to share journal clubs experiences and explore new or innovative ideas. Participates are invited to bring opinions of journal club and discuss where they have been involved in a journal club what didn’t go quite so well and what worked. Some questions to think about are…

What formats of journal clubs have you previously attended?

How were your learning needs met at these journal clubs?

What novel approaches to improving learning were used?

How could the journal club have been improved?

What impact do you feel the journal club had on patient care?

We hope you can join us, on Wednesday 17th February 2016 between 20:00 – 21:00 hrs (GMT), to further explore the topic of journal clubs.

Dr. Stephen McKeever R.G.N, RN (Child), Dip.Trop.Nurse, ENB 415, BSc.(Hons), Ph.D.


  1. Linzer M. The journal club and medical education: Over one hundred years of unrecorded history. Postgraduate Medical Journal 1987;63(740):475-78.
  2. Honey CP, Baker JA. Exploring the impact of journal clubs: A systematic review. Nurse Education Today 2011;31(8):825-31.
  3. Häggman-Laitila A, Mattila L-R, Melender H-L. A Systematic Review of Journal Clubs for Nurses. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing (Article in Press).
  4. Lachance C. Nursing journal clubs: A literature review on the effective teaching strategy for continuing education and evidence-based practice. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 2014;45(12):559-65.
  5. McKeever S, Kinney S, Lima S, et al. Creating a journal club competition improves paediatric nurses’ participation and engagement. Nurse Education Today 2016; 37:173–177


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