International Transplant Nurses Society
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Developing A Chapter Journal Club

Your chapter may want to consider developing a Journal Club for your members. This is a relatively easy process once Club guidelines are established and a member of your board of directors is assigned responsibility for direction of this on-going project.

Journal club meetings can be held once per month, every two months, or quarterly. A group of nurses (i.e. a specific transplant hospital nursing unit or outpatient transplant coordinators) should volunteer to host or facilitate each meeting. Sign-up sheets for volunteering to host a journal club should be circulated at every chapter function. Try to have host volunteers signed up for at least 2 meetings in advance.

The following Journal Club tips were adapted from guidelines written by Bev Kosmach-Park of the Golden Triangle Chapter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We hope you will find these guidelines useful in developing your own Journal Club.

Journal Club Guidelines

Important Things To Do First

  • Read the Journal Club Guideline information completely.

  • Reserve a room, (with a set-up for a meal, if applicable), that will comfortably seat your members planning to attend.

  • Contact vendors if you would like the meeting to be sponsored with a meal.

Topic Selection

  • Decide on a topic of general interest in transplantation; for example, CMV. Then select articles about CMV in kidney, liver, heart, and pediatric / adult transplantation to attract the most participants.

  • Complete a brief literature search to find current articles. Two web sites that are very easy to use are: and

  • Choose 3 or 4 articles that best address your topic.

  • Recruit staff to present and facilitate each article. A brief overview of the article should be presented and discussion facilitated. The article can also be critiqued and / or related to your practice

Getting The Word Out

  • Design a flyer to announce the Journal Club, this can be sent by inter-office mail, US mail, or electronically. State the title of the Journal Club, place, time, plans for a meal / sponsor, where to get the articles and a phone number or email address to RSVP or answer questions. Use a bright colored paper or attractive border to draw attention to the flyer. You also might consider stating that EVERYONE is invited. (This event is not limited to members of your Chapter). This will facilitate interest in your Chapter and you may gain new members.

  • About 2-3 weeks prior to the Journal Club meeting, make enough packets to distribute to participants. The packets should include the flyer as a cover sheet announcing the Journal Club meeting, and the articles that will be discussed.

  • Mail, email, and distribute flyers to all members of your Chapter.

  • Packets should be distributed to the Nurse Manager or Assistant Head Nurse of each Transplant nursing unit or outpatient areas of your Chapter hospitals for distribution to their staff.

  • Select a common, convenient area to place the articles so participants can pick them up before the meeting date.

Sponsoring The Journal Club

  • Decide if you want a vendor to provide lunch / dinner, or just have a Brown Bag meal. It is not necessary to provide a meal, but it usually helps to draw a bigger crowd.

  • If you decide on a Brown Bag meal, you might want to consider having the Chapter sponsor drinks and dessert.

  • If you are interested in getting support for a meal, call a vendor / Drug Rep. as soon as possible. The cost can be quite variable depending on the type of meal and should be the decision of the sponsor.

  • Encourage the sponsor to plan the meal, order the food and arrange delivery. They should pay the caterer directly. If this is not possible, an invoice for the meal should be submitted to the Chapter Treasurer who will write a check to the caterer following payment from the vendor to your chapter.

  • Call the vendor 2 weeks prior to the meeting and again a few days before the meeting to confirm all arrangements. It is always important to remind and confirm!

Room Reservations

  • Call as soon as possible to reserve your room for the meeting.

  • Call to confirm the room reservation at 2 weeks and again a few days prior to the Journal Club date.

  • Your room should be large enough to accommodate all participants and be set-up for a meal if desired.

  • If your presentations require a slide projector and screen, remember to request that equipment.

Journal Club

  • Please begin and end the meeting promptly.

  • The facilitators (hosts) should begin the meeting with an overview of what will be discussed.

  • Be sure to introduce the vendor / Drug Rep. and thank them for their support before beginning discussion of the articles.

  • Each presenter should then give a brief overview of their article and facilitate a few minutes of discussion, allotting about 10-15 minutes per article.

  • At the conclusion of the meeting, a chapter officer (usually the President or President-Elect) should briefly mention upcoming Chapter events, try to recruit new members and ask for volunteers to host a Journal Club meeting.

  • ALWAYS send a thank-you note to the vendor within one week of the Journal Club.

  • Each presenter should write a brief overview of his or her article to be submitted to your Chapter newsletter. The facilitator is responsible for collecting these and sending them to your Newsletter Editor.


Chapter Resources

Developing Chapter Newsletters

Chapter Web Site Tips

Chapter FAQs

Chapter Development Tips

Developing Chapter Continuing Education

Educational Funding Opportunities

Developing Chapter Journal Clubs

Developing Chapter Study Groups