oa Curationis - Journal club : integrating research awareness into postgraduate nurse training : original research
Background: Evidence-based nursing requires nurses to maintain an awareness of recently published research findings to integrate into their clinical practice. In the South African setting keeping up with recent literature has additional challenges, including the diversity of nurses' home language, geographically foreign origins of published work, and limited economic resources. Students enrolled in a postgraduate programme came from various paediatric settings and displayed limited awareness of nursing literature as an evidence base for practice.
Objectives: The study aimed to design and introduce a journal club as an educational strategy into the postgraduate programmes in children's nursing at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and then to refine the way it is used to best serve programme outcomes and facilitate student learning whilst still being an enjoyable activity.
Method: An action research methodology using successive cycles of 'assess-plan-act-observe' was used to design, implement and refine the structure of a journal club within the postgraduate diploma programme over four academic years. Six educators actively tracked and reflected on journal club sessions, and then analysed findings during and after each annual cycle to plan improvement and increasing programme alignment.
Results: Considerable refinement of the intervention included changing how it was structured, the preparation required by both students and educators, the article selection process and the intervention's alignment with other learning activities in the programme.
Conclusion: Journal club facilitated an increase in student awareness and reading of nursing literature, offering the opportunity to consider application of published research to current nursing practice. Another benefit was enabling students to become familiar with the specialised and technical language of research, children's nursing and the critical care of children and neonates, by speaking about these in peer settings.
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