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NU481 - Issues in Nursing Research & Management: Finding Articles

A research guide for nursing students in NU481.

Finding Articles Using Library Databases

Staley Library has plenty of online resources that will help you locate the 15 nursing research articles you need for your research paper. This page includes tip to help you learn how to use the many helpful advanced search features included by CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Proquest Nursing and Allied Health Source.

CINAHL Search Filters

There are many useful search limiters on the main CINAHL search screen, below the search box. Look for the "Limit Your Results" area of the screen.

Screen shot of limit results

  • For this assignment, you need nursing research articles, therefore you may find it useful to limit results to those published in a nursing journal. Select "Nursing" from the "Journal Subset" limiter

Screen shot of journal subset limit

  • Another way to limit results to those with a nursing focus is to choose either the "First Author is Nurse" or "Any Author is Nurse" limit

Screen shot of nurse author limit


  • Because you are going to focus on research-based articles, it will also help to limit results by checking "Research Article" (the "Peer-Reviewed" and "Evidence-Based Practice" check boxes may also be useful.) 
Screen shot of research article limitScreen shot of evidence-based practice limitScreen shot of peer-reviewed limit    


  • You may want to limit your journal to "English Language" to eliminate non-English articles.

Screen shot of English language limit


  • Your professor wants articles published within the last five years. Use the date limiter for this!

Screen shot of CINAHL date limit

PubMed Search Filters

PubMed includes options to filter your search results after you perform a search:

Screen shot of PubMed search screen with filters on left side of screen

On the left side of the screen, filter/limit options include:

  • Publication dates - 5 years

Screen shot of PubMed limit to published within the last 5 years

  • Article types - Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, Systematic Reviews, Meta Analysis, Case Reports, etc.  Just click "Customize" to see the full list of article type options.

Screen shot of additional PubMed article type limit options

  • To see more limit options, including a "Journal Categories" limit that will allow you to limit to article published in nursing journals, select the "Show Additional Filters" option.

Screen shot of additional PubMed limitsScreen shot of PubMed nursing journals limit option

Finding Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses

One of the highest levels in the hierarchy 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

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 optionsScreen shot of systematic review limit option in CINAHL

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

1. Start by searching your search terms in the PubMed search box and hit enter.

2. As described above, in the PubMed Search Limits guide, on the left side of the screen, select "Customize" under "Article Types."

3. Select "Systematic Reviews" or "Meta-Analysis" from the list of article types and and click "Show."

Screen shot of how to select Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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.

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