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Nursing Journal Clubs and the Clinical Nurse Specialist

Westlake, Cheryl PhD, RN, ACNS-BC; Albert, Nancy M. PhD, CCNS, CHFN, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, FAHA; Rice, Karen L. DNS, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANP; Bautista, Cynthia PhD, RN, CNRN, SCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC, FNCS; Close, Jackie PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA; Foster, Jan PhD, APRN, CNS, CCRN; Timmerman, Gayle M. PhD, APRN, CNS, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000095

Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this article was to describe the clinical nurse specialist’s role in developing and implementing a journal club. Tools for critiquing clinical and research articles with an application of each are provided.

Background: The journal club provides a forum through which nurses maintain their knowledge base about clinically relevant topics and developments in their specific clinical discipline, analyze and synthesize the relevant scientific literature as evidence, and engage in informal discussions about evidence-based and best practices.

Rationale: The value of journal clubs includes nursing staff education, review of and support for evidence-based practice, promotion of nursing research, and fostering of organization-wide nursing practice changes.

Description: The process for establishing a journal club and suggested appraisal tools are discussed. In addition, strategies for overcoming barriers to the implementation of a journal club are outlined. Suggested article review questions and a reporting format for clinical and research articles are provided with examples from 2 articles. Finally, a glossary of terms commonly used by research scientists and manuscript writers are listed and additional resources provided.

Outcome/Conclusion: The clinical nurse specialist’s role in developing and implementing a journal club will be facilitated through the use of this article.

Implications: Enhanced nursing staff education, evidence-based practice, organization-wide nursing practice changes, and nursing research may be conducted following the implementation of a nursing journal club.

Author Affiliations: Professor and Associate Dean (Dr Westlake), International and Community Programs, School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, San Clemente, California; Associate Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Albert), Research and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic, Chesterland, Ohio; Program Director (Dr Rice), the Center for Nursing Research, Ochsner Health System, Mandeville, Louisiana; Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist (Dr Bautista), Yale–New Haven Hospital, Fairfield, Connecticut; Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (Dr Close), Palomar Health, San Diego, California; Associate Professor (Dr Foster), Texas Woman’s University, the Woodlands; and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor (Dr Timmerman), School of Nursing, the University of Texas at Austin.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Cheryl Westlake, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, 327 Calle Pescador, San Clemente, CA 92672 (

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