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Nursing: Overview

Welcome new Nursing students! A quick video

One of your first semester textbooks is available in CINAHL (in addition to being available through your e- textbook service).  CINAHL is mostly peer-reviewed journal articles, but there are exceptions like this.

Essential Nursing and Health Databases


Cochrane CENTRAL -- not for your first semester junior year.

eBooks -- Test Prep

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


Asterisks don't work, and are not necessary, in Google Scholar (and Google).

Mostly, don't use quotation marks in PubMed.  They override PubMed's automatic term mapping system.



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.

Lippincott Nursing Procedures, and other reference books

Also see page on Nursing topics: more reference books, theories, Nursing Education, psychiatric DSM-5

More Databases for Nursing

Education databases -- These two may be useful for MSN students looking at education topics that are not directly related to the health sciences.  But these and other databases are included in APPsearch.  I often would just search APPsearch instead of these two by themselves.

Special services for "AppState Online" students

Almost all of our journals and electronic resources are available online to the entire AppState community.  We're mostly buying ebooks for programs with many "distance" students.

But we do have additional services for you.  As an "AppState Online" student, you may have physical books mailed to you.  Click the Request button in the Library Catalog to trigger this.  It will be mailed to your home with a postage paid return label.  Make sure to update your University address!

Also, you might occasionally find an old article that we only have in paper volumes.  You can request that these articles be scanned and emailed to you.  Use our ILLiad system.

Also,  everyone can use ILLiad in general to request articles, books, and theses that we do not have immediate access to.  ILLiad is our InterLibrary "Loan" service.  It's generally 24-48 hours for articles.

Also, contact me as needed.

How to save a search

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.

AppState Online students -- We mostly have ebooks for you.  Well, we really mostly have journal articles, and more journal articles, for you.  But we do also have a system to mail you physical books, if that's what you need.  See this library guide.

Need a DOI? CrossRef

Need a DOI?  Check the article carefully first.  Search CrossRef here.  But also for older articles, from before about 2010-2012, there might not be a DOI.  Even some current articles, from competent but low cost journals usually, will not have DOI numbers.

Health Sciences Librarian

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John Wiswell

Levine Hall 542F & Belk Library 225, (828)262-7853