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Using a Multiuser Virtual Environment to Facilitate Nursing Journal Clubs: A Mixed-Methods Study

Billingsley, Luanne DNP, MBA, APRN, ACNS-BC; Rice, Karen DNS, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANP; Bennett, Marsha DNS, APRN, ACRN; Thibeau, Shelley MSN, RNC-NIC

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e31828c8408
Feature Article

Purpose: 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.

Methods: 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 χ 2 tests were used to test for presurvey and postsurvey group differences. Journal club screencast recordings were thematically analyzed.

Setting: This study was conducted in an Internet-accessible, 3-dimensional multiuser virtual environment.

Sample: 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.

Findings: 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.

Conclusions: Registered nurse study participants reported a benefit of using Second Life for nursing journal clubs. Participants perceived and demonstrated improvement in critical appraisal competencies.

Implications: Further research is warranted on outcomes associated with nurses’ appraisal of evidence for application to practice using a multiuser virtual environment.

Author Affiliations: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and Assistant Professor (Dr Billingsley), Southeastern Louisiana University Graduate School of Nursing, Hammond, Louisiana; Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and Program Director (Dr Rice), Center for Nursing Research, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, Mental Health and Psychiatric Nurse Clinical Nurse Specialist, Associate Professor, and Associate Dean for Nursing Research, Scholarship, and Science (Dr Bennett), Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–New Orleans School of Nursing, Louisiana; Registered Nurse Researcher, Center for Nursing Research, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, and PhD Candidate (Ms Thibeau), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Partially funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Luanne Billingsley, DNP, MBA, APRN, ACNS-BC, SLU Drawer 10835, Hammond, LA 70402 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins