There are many ways to access Nursing articles. It is important to make sure you have developed your search concepts before going into the databases.
It is equally important to use the most appropriate database depending on the search topic. Consult the Nursing Guide - Databases page for a listing of relevant Nursing databases.
Also, consider that Nursing research can be interdisciplinary in scope. For example, the Nursing topic might be related to business, education or psychology. Databases A to Z is a complete listing of all library databases. You can also use the Subject Guide to find the most appropriate subject discipline and suggested databases.
Below are step-by-step instructions and tutorial videos on how to find articles in the Library Catalog, CINAHL and PubMed.
Finding articles in the library catalog
Note: Searching the library catalog can be useful for getting some articles to get started with your search. The results tend to be broad in scope and are not limited to Nursing content. Keep in mind it is best to search Nursing and health science databases like CINAHL and PubMed.
1. Go to the catalog advanced search builder.
2. Enter each search concept into the search boxes. Connect synonyms with the Boolean operator OR.
3. Add limiters. If seeking articles from peer-reviewed journals, check off Limit to articles from peer-reviewed journals.
4. If seeking articles published within a specific time frame, add the date range under Year of Publication.
5. Click search.
6. On the results page, make sure to check off the format limiter Academic Journal.
7. Browse through results. Look for the PDF icon or Blue Find It button for full text or interlibrary options.
Finding articles in CINAHL
2. Enter related concepts and keywords into the search box. Notice, when you begin to type a word or phrase the database will present you with synonyms connected with OR.
3. Fill out remaining search boxes with your additional search concepts.
4. Now add limiters. Scroll down on the page to check off appropriate limiters. Commonly used limiters include Published Date, English Language, and Peer Reviewed.
5. If seeking articles authored by a nurse, check off First Author is Nurse or Any Author is Nurse.
6. If seeking articles published in a nursing journal, under Journal Subset select both Core Nursing and Nursing. Look for additional filters as needed. Once you have applied all appropriate limiters, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the yellow Search button.
7. Start to look at your findings. 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.
8. Look at the results and view article records. You may want to sort your search results by Relevance instead of the default setting of Date Newest.
9. When looking at the article record, note to see what are the major and minor subjects (the controlled vocabulary called CINAHL Headings) for the article. You may find useful concepts listed that you can add to the search.
10. There are several ways to save article records and information. Creating an EBSCO account is one a way of saving articles and search results. Go to the top of the page and click Sign In and click Sign Up.
Don't want an account? Emailing articles is another option. For sending an indivdual article record, click the E-mail button under Tools.
You can also look at the results page and click the blue folder icon to add multiple article records to your email. You will notice the icon turns into a yellow folder and a folder view will appear in the right side of the page.
When you are finished adding all articles to your folder, on the right hand side, click Go to: Folder View.
On the next screen you should see all articles. Click the E-mail button.
Add your email address, subject line, and choose a citation format to send the records. If a PDF is available it will be included in the email.
Finding articles in PubMed
2. To start with a basic search, use plain language and type in your search terms.
3. You may get many results. You may get too few results. Consider adding in:
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
phrase searching ("heart failure")
truncation (nurs* = nurses, nurse, nursing)
4. For more comphrensive searching, add in controlled vocabulary, or the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).
How to find the MeSH? Two ways:
Scroll down on the PubMed home page and under Explore, look for MeSH Database.
Search to see if your keywords have MeSH terms. Once you find a MeSH term you can add it to the PubMed Search Builder.
MeSH terms can also be found within PubMed article records towards the bottom of the page. Click on terms to add them to your search OR to search for the term in the MeSH database.
5. Once you found all your MeSH terms, organize your search strategy. Connect your related keywords and MeSH with the Boolean operator OR. Each concept should have parentheses around it. For example:
("Public Health Nursing/education"[Mesh] OR "public health nurs*")
("Curriculum"[Mesh] OR curriculum)
("Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate"[Mesh] OR "undergraduate nurs*")
6. Add in some filters to get refined results. You may want to limit results by publication date. On the left side of the page under Results By Year, select the date range.
Further down on the left hand side select the button Additional Filters.
You can choose from limiters including Language, Age, Article Type, and Journal Type.
If you only want articles published in Nursing Journals, select Nursing, and click Show.
Remember to check off Nursing journals on the results page.
7. Look through your article results. Once you click into an article record, look for the blue Find It button for the full-text article PDF or to place an Interlibrary Loan request.
8. You may want to email yourself article records. To send yourself an individual article, in the PubMed article record, click the Email button.
If you want to send multiple or all search results, click the Email button and make your selection from the dropdown menu, All results on this page, All results or Selection.