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NU430 - Community Health Nursing: Care Plan Resources

A research guide for nursing students in NU430.


High quality nursing care is based upon evidence-based practice, rather than on tradition or intuition. With your weekly care plans, you are required to submit at least one systematic review, evidence-based research article, or clinical guidelines that support your intervention strategies. Staley Library has plenty of resources to help you locate such resources.

Before you start your search, practice your article analysis skills. Examine each of the following articles and determine:

  • Audience: This article is meant to be read by _______?
  • Purpose: The purpose of this article is to ______?
  • Primary or Secondary: Is this article a primary or secondary source?
  • Type of Periodical: Is the article published in a popular magazine? A professional periodical? A scholarly journal?
  • Type of Data: Is the data presented in the article quantitative? Qualitative? Mixed?
  • Evidence-Based Rating: On a scale of 1 to 5 for evidence-based information (1 being low, 5 being high), I would rate this article a ____?

Finding Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses

One of the highest levels of evidence based practice is evidence from a systematic review or meta-analysis of relevant randomized controlled trials (RCT).

Systematic Review- through a well-defined process, researchers identify and analyze multiple research studies addressing the same clinical issue to come to a conclusion on the effectiveness of a specific intervention, diagnostic test, or methodology.

Meta-Analysis- quantitative statistical analysis of data collected from the many studies in a systematic review.

To locate and access this type of evidence, use one of the following databases:

For more about Cochrane Reviews, see:

For Cochrane Library tutorial videos, see:

1. Start your search by typing keywords for the disease, condition, intervention, or methodology into the search box and click "Go":

Screen shot of Cochrane Library search screen

2. Results will display where your search term(s) appear in the title, abstract or assigned keywords of the systematic review. Click on a title to view the full text of the review.

Screen shot of Cochrane Library search results.

3. Once you have chosen a specific result, you will be shown the abstract for the review. To view the summary or full version of the review, or just the figures, tables, or references, choose one of the options in the middle of the screen:

Screen shot of Cochrane viewing options

but, you will probably want to scroll down the screen a bit and start with reading the plain language summery:

Screen shot of Cochrane plain language summary

If the review is not available full text, you will need to request a copy via interlibrary loan.

1. Go to myMillikin and in the menu labeled "Academics" find and click on the button labeled ILLiad.

ILLiad button

2. Click on the "New Requests" menu and select "Article."

New Requests- Article

3. Copy the doi (digital object identifier) from the Cochrane review you wish to request:


Paste the doi into the DOI blank in the ILLiad article request form and click "Resolve DOI"


4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click "Submit Request."

1. Start by typing your search term(s) into the search boxes at the top of the screen.

Screen shot of CINAHL search boxes

2. Next, scroll down the screen into the portion labeled "Search Options" until you see the limit labeled "Publication Type." Scroll through these options and click on the selection "Meta Analysis" or "Systematic Review."

Screen shot of CINAHL publication type limit options

3. Then click "Search" to see search results related to your search terms with that publication type. Click on full text links to view the systematic review or meta-analysis:

Screen shot of full text of systematic review

Finding Other Evidence-Based Studies & Clinical Guidelines in CINAHL

The CINAHL database also includes helpful search limits to locate other types of evidence-based research articles.

1. Start by typing your search term(s) into the search boxes at the top of the screen.

Screen shot of CINAHL search

2. Next, browse some of the limiters available below the search boxes, in the portion of the screen headed "Search Options"

  • Checking the "Evidence Based Practice" box will limit your results to articles from evidence based practice journals (including the Cochrane Library systematic reviews), as well as articles about evidence based practice, research articles (including systematic reviews, clinical trials, meta analyses, and qualitative studies), commentaries on research studies, and case studies meeting the research or EBP criteria.

Screen shot of Evidence Based Practice limit

  • Checking the "Research Article" box will result in a larger result set than the "Evidence Based Practice" limit, as the criteria for research articles are broader than those for EBP. Limits results to both quantitative and qualitative studies.

Screen shot of Research Article limit

  • Checking the "Randomized Controlled Trials" box will limit results to studies based on RCTs.

Screen shot of Randomized Controlled Trials limit

  • Choosing "Practice Guidelines" from the Publication Types limit will limit your results to articles discussing or outlining clinical guidelines.

Screen shot of Practice Guidelines limit

3. Once you have chosen a limit or multiple limits, click "Search." Remember, the more limits you choose, the more limited your search will be, meaning fewer results.

Searching Proquest Nursing and Allied Health Source

This database does not have as many specific limiters as CINAHL, but is still useful for locating sources for your care plans.

1. Start by typing your search term(s) into the search boxes at the top of the screen.

Screen shot of Proquest Nursing search screen

2. Next, scroll down the page to the search options to find the option labeled "Document Type." Choose "Evidence Based Healthcare," then click "Search."

Screen shot of Proquest Nursing evidence based healthcare limit

3. Results will be limited to evidence-based practice publications like systematic reviews, evidence summaries, and best practice information sheets.

Subject Guide

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Amanda Pippitt
University Commons 164

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