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Journal Club at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital

Many nurses who train to be a specialist children’s nurse will have had very little or no exposure to scientific literature or research before they begin studying at postgraduate level studies. Often, nurses will have advanced to this stage in their career through non-traditional educational routes. Nurses need to be confident about accessing and applying up to date evidence and best practice in order to provide effective clinical leadership. ‘Reading’ does not form part of the professional and organisational culture of the majority of children’s nursing teams currently.

The journal club established at the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital offers an innovative and scalable way to build nurses’ ability to access and apply evidence and research to their clinical practice. Designed and facilitated by CNDU research team members, four journal club sessions are held reaching up to 220-250 nurses each month throughout the year as part of an in-service educational program. This is considerably larger than most journal club formats.

Most journal clubs require pre-reading of articles, and discussion takes place using a didactic format. That assumes that nurses will have the ability to find, download and extract relevant content independently. CNDU researchers have re-designed this, moving to a weekly interactive group session using a large scale, visible graphic picture to map out the main parts of the journal article. No pre-reading is required, as through a 1-hour facilitated session the researcher guides nurses through the article, extracting key messages and facilitating discussion about their relevance and application to practice. The hospital clinical educator is excited by increasing engagement of all cadres of nurses questioning long-established practices and routines. The nurses are enthusiastic participants who increasingly present and discuss published articles and their implications.