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Nursing: Overview

eReference Sources, Nursing Education, Mental Health, Nursing Theory

November 2021

Email me or ask for an appointment, if you have any obstacles.   wiswellj@

I have not heard from many Nursing students so far, so everything must be OK.  Right?

Essential Nursing and Health Databases

Lippincott Nursing Procedures, and other reference books

Where are Nursing books?

Books on the health sciences are on the 3rd floor, in the northeast corner.  They start with R.  Look for the books focusing on Nursing in the RT area.

Many of our Nursing books are ebooks.

Primal Pictures

Anatomy imaging software.

North Carolina Nursing History

Getting Full Text!

Our Find@ASU button in our article databases takes you to electronic full text, if we have it. 

Find@ASU button that tries to take you to full text

Still not getting full text?  Many full text articles are available for free in some form.  If you have a distinct article title or a DOI, try a quick search in Google Scholar (and Google).  We also have ILLiad to get articles from other libraries. 

More Databases for Nursing

I do not use these below often.  I usually use PubMed instead of this version of Medline.

Education databases -- These two may be useful fot MSN students looking at education topics that are not directly related to the health sciences.

Searching -- Choosing search terms

Choosing search words is a challenge for researchers.  Sometimes, there is not a good fit between the possible words and the concepts.  Other times, you just don't know what the best words are at first.

1. Keep it simple.  Choose a word or short phrase (in quotation marks, if it helps) for each concept.  Which words distinguish your concept?  Many words you might use could show up in many articles on lots of topics.  Don't bother with those, if you can avoid them.

2. Before you start, think.  What words would researchers use?  Think about narrower words, broader words, and words that are related.  Consider jotting them down or making a document that you can copy and paste from.

3. Watch for alternative words as you go.  Look at the subject headings.

4. As you go, think about adding more words to get fewer results that are more focused on your topic.  Or try taking words out or substituting in words with broader meanings, in order to get more results.  You can search on authors, methodologies, data sources, outcomes, or almost anything else of interest.

5. Consider searching in the CINAHL Headings and PubMed MeSH databases before you start really searching for articles.

6. You can ask for help also.

7. Above, I suggested using just one word or short phrase for each concept.  If you have synonyms or related terms, you can search on them at the same time using OR. 

examples: (teenagers OR adolescents OR youths)    

("eating disorders" OR bulimia OR anorexia)   

(carolina OR virginia OR appalach*)     

You can also use the asterisk, to search for different variations of a word. 

Example: theor* will find all these: theory, theories, theoretical


Helps with creating an answerable, useful question.  Helps with choice of search words.

Problem or population  -- soccer players

Intervention -- preventive training (or more specific type of preventive training)

Comparison treatment (or placebo) -- alternate type of preventive training?  what's being used up to now.

Outcome -- count frequency and severity of injuries.  Missed games or training.

Contact -- John Wiswell

John Wiswell  
Health Sciences Librarian       
Click here for an appointment.  Contact me by email if these times do not work.
Levine Hall 542F & Belk Library 225  (828)262-7853
Available for students, faculty, and staff. 

Quick links to databases, and getting help

Need help? I'm available: email wiswellj@, Zoom, chat, appointment.  Make appointment (in person Levine or LIbrary, or Zoom) Email if these times don't work.

September 2021

Nursing theories?  Include the a few specific Nursing theory names in your search.  Like this,   

(Newman OR Parse OR Leininger) theor* nursing                    or try CINAHL subject headings, as seen in this video.


Getting articles from Nursing journals and from journals from other health sciences fields   and 

Getting articles written by nurses and by researchers and practitioners from other health sciences fields

I'd be happy to look at articles or searches with you.


Differences among all these databases?

CINAHL is relatively small and focused on Nursing. It's still pretty big -- a lot of citations from a lot of journals.
PubMed is big and focused on a wider range of health sciences -- lots of medicine, but Nursing too. 
These two both have some features that are useful some of the time.
Google Scholar and APPsearch (default search here) are huge.  Almost all journals will be covered by them. 
Also, unlike CINAHL, PubMed, and almost all library databases, they search full text of articles.  CINAHL and PubMed search article title, abstract, keywords, and subject headings.  They also have features that are useful some of the time.
It's good to be able to use several of these, since every topic is different.

Welcome new Nursing students! A quick video

10/5//2020 -- Ovid journals are fully available.

Our linking to Ovid journals appears to be working today, 10/5/2020.  Just in case . . .

Workaround #1 -- Search the article title in Google Scholar.  The Find@AppState button, which sometimes hides under this symbol >> , is still working.

Workaround #2 -- Go to the Ovid journals website, and search on the article title there.

We subscribe to 136 Ovid journals, almost all Nursing journals. See list in Ovid or on Journals page -- lower right,

Often, when you try to access full text articles, you get a blank screen.  The blank screen almost always means that the full text is coming, although slowly.  Click on the link in upper right to speed up loading.   Please look at this video for an example.

EBSCO logs you out!

The EBSCO page you get when you neglect EBSCO for more than about 15 minutes.

There's no way to beat this page when you see it.  You'll have to go back to one of the Library pages and start CINAHL (or APPsearch or other) all over again, and sometimes you have to clear your search history.  You should not have to log into an EBSCO account.  That will not help.  (It can be helpful to backspace and look at the search terms you were using, if they were working.)

EBSCO logs you out!


Take a look at these videos.  They're all about 3 to 5 minutes long.  Let me know if you have questions or problems.  -- JohnW

Month 2 of the Fall Semester

Too few results

Break down your search into just a few concepts.  Use only a few words or phrases.  Think about what language the researchers would use and watch for alternatives.  Leave out any extra non-specific words that will exclude useful results from your search.

Researchers might have used:

perioperative OR pre-operative OR post-operative OR surgical OR surgery OR "operating room"

Too many results

When you're finding many results, it's an opportunity to add more search words, and more specific words, to eliminate articles that are not quite on your topic.  It's an opportunity to focus more on only the most recent articles.  Even when I need primary articles, I am more likely to look first for recent review articles when I'm overwhelmed by lots of results.

Getting full text

We have lots of full text for most searches--not all.  The Find@ASU button will usually give you electronic full text, but not always.  Sometimes Find@ASU might take you to the journal but not the exact article.  This becomes more obvious when you are finding few results.  In these cases, use the journal site to find the article.

Need to talk about it?

Email me with questions or to set up a web conference. 

I'd like to hear about especially difficult searches and of course, broken links.

A few recent questions

Having problems with accessing full text of articles?

Hey, I'm interested in examples when you cannot get full text that it appears we should have.  My testing shows our linking is working pretty well, but it helps to get examples with details when things are not working.  We also have a "Report a Problem" page that goes to my colleagues Allan and Andie.     Thanks, JohnW,

Does APPsearch include articles found in CINAHL and PubMed?

Use CINAHL and PubMed for most of your needs.  I like APPsearch and Google Scholar too.  But CINAHL is a Nursing-friendly world.  And PubMed is what you will most easily have available throughout your career.

APPsearch does include CINAHL.  A lot of the top results for the searches you do will be from CINAHL.

A more complex answer about MEDLINE--
APPsearch kind of searches PubMed.  It searches MEDLINE.  MEDLINE is the main component of PubMed.  There are about 24 million journal article records in Medline, and PubMed contains them all, plus about 3 million other records.  Where I really notice the difference is for recently published articles.  If an article is published today, it will be in PubMed tomorrow, but it might take a couple of months to get into MEDLINE and APPsearch.
Also, a lot of articles that show up in APPsearch are in two or more databases.  Usually they only display once.  So a result might show that it's from CINAHL, but it also is in MEDLINE or a range of other databases.