The purpose of this mixed-methods pilot study was to explore the feasibility of using Second Life to conduct research and to describe nurses’ experiences in using Second Life to facilitate nursing journal clubs.
A QUAN→qual sequential design using survey and qualitative methods was used to guide scientific inquiry. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and t, Mann-Whitney U, and χ2 tests were used to test for presurvey and postsurvey group differences. Journal club screencast recordings were thematically analyzed.
This study was conducted in an Internet-accessible, 3-dimensional multiuser virtual environment.
A convenience sample of registered nurses from 7 facilities consented to participate. Completed data from 29 presurveys and 20 postsurveys were included in data analyses.
Overall, nurses reported a benefit in using Second Life to facilitate journal clubs. The Mann-Whitney U test identified (P < .05) improvement in 7 of 8 critical appraisal competencies after journal club activities: determining design, determining population, interpreting statistics, linking findings/conclusions, identifying limitations, identifying implications, and interpreting qualitative findings. Qualitative analyses of screencastings validated reports of improved critical appraisal competencies and identified 3 inworld themes: presence, learning strategies, and learning outcomes.
Registered nurse study participants reported a benefit of using Second Life for nursing journal clubs. Participants perceived and demonstrated improvement in critical appraisal competencies.
Further research is warranted on outcomes associated with nurses’ appraisal of evidence for application to practice using a multiuser virtual environment.