Evidence Based Practice Review of Literature Paper


Develop a PICO question to narrow the topic for your paper


Use this PICO Worksheet and Search Strategy Protocol to help keep track of your research concepts and search terms.

Literature Search


  • Choose 5 original research studies for your paper. Remember, these studies should be conducted in the United States, from Nursing journals, or authored by at least one nurse.
    • In CINAHL under Search Options --> Advanced Search limit to:
      • Peer Review
      • Research Article


  • If seeking nursing journals, under Journal Subset select both Core Nursing and Nursing.



  • If seeking articles authored by a nurse, check off First Author is Nurse or Any Author is Nurse


Literature or systematic reviews can NOT be included in the five articles but may be used for topic introduction/ background.

If you are not getting many results, go back into the Advanced Search and check off Apply related words and Also search within the full text of the articles.


PRISMA Diagram

Create a PRISMA flow diagram to document & describe your search results.

PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Benefits of using PRISMA include:

  • Demonstrate quality of the review
  • Allow readers to assess strengths and weaknesses
  • Permits replication of review methods
  • Structure and format the review using PRISMA headings

Use the 2020 PRISMA Word template found here. Or you can use the simpler 2009 version here.

Here is an explaination of the steps to create a PRISMA Chart:

  1. Why are you constructing a PRISMA chart as an undergraduate student? Good question. The short version is that you are attempting to document how you searched the databases. So remember, you need to keep track of how many search results you found in PubMed and CINAHL. Download the PRISMA template from above.
  2. Ah yes, now the database search. You will follow the literature search steps outlined above. For this class you are only searching in PubMed and CINAHL. So after you searched both databases. Add up the total number of article you found and paste the number in "Records identified through database searching (n= )" PRISMA additional sources
  3. Sometimes we find other articles outside of a database search. So this might be from looking at the reference list of an article you found. Or we tempt fate and search in Google Scholar (or Google, yikes!). If you find articles outside the database search, document them under "Additional records indentified through other sources (n= )". PRISMA diagram showing duplicates removed box
  4. One thing that happens when we search across multiple databases is that the same article might appear in multiple places we search. Now for the fun of removing all duplicate articles! Yes, you have to manually go through your findings to see if the same article came up in CINAHL and PubMed. This can be time consuming if you get lots of results. Enter the number of records left after you have removed the duplicate in the second box from the top.
    PRISMA records screened
  5. Now it is time to screen your articles. In the box enter the same number as you have entered in the duplicates removed box.  PRISMA records excluded box
  6. Next you will screen article titles and the article abstracts to see if they meet your research question. If an article is not meeting your topic you will exclude it from your total. Record the number of articles excluded based on this screening process in the appropriate box (next to the total number of screened records) with a short reason for excluding these articles. PRISMA eligability box
  7. Time to check out the full-text articles assessed for eligibility. If we do not have full-text you can place an interlibrary loan for the article. Subtract the number of excluded articles following the screening phase (step 6) from the total number of records screened (step 5) and enter this number in the box titled "Full-text articles assessed for eligibility". PRISMA full text articles excluded
  8. Now for excluded records. Get the total number of articles that you exclude and enter this number in "Full text articles excluded, with reasons" and then write in a short reason for excluding the articles which could be "wrong population". PRISMA articles excluded
  9. Finally, you made it to the included section. Subtract the number of excluded articles or records during the eligibility review of full-texts from the total number of articles reviewed for eligibility. Enter this number in the qualitative synthesis box. PRISMA final articles

Creative Commons Licence This section adapted from GCU https://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/smile/searching/writingupyoursearchstrategy/usingprisma1/

Table of Evidence

Develop a Table of Evidence to appraise the evidence found in your 5 articles.

Consult this page for more information on constructing a Table of Evidence.

Or follow the example on the NUR2810 Blackboard for the Table of Evidence.


APA 7th edition format

Complete your paper in APA 7th edition style. Consult our APA 7th edition page for examples and templates of Word documents preformatted in APA style.

Want to cut down on the time it takes to format your sources? Consider using Zoterobib, a website that can help create your reference list.

  • Copy and paste the article title, URL or DOI number of the article into Zoterobib and click cite
  • Under Bibliography, be sure to select APA 7th edition as your style
  • Once you pasted all your sources, download the results as a Word file by going to Export and selecting Download RTF