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Graduate Nursing Student Orientation Guide: Home

This guide provides useful library resources and services information to graduate students in Nursing, including those at a distance or working online.

DNP Students Orientation Information & Activities

Subject headings are specific terms that are linked to articles in databases and function at times like tags or categories. In library jargon terms, they are also described as controlled vocabulary. You can find subject headings in databases typically in the database's thesaurus. You can combine subject headings using the thesaurus using the same connecting words.

Two sets of subject headings to be aware of as a nursing doctoral student and researcher are:

  • Medical Subject Headings or MeSH, which is the National Library of Medicine's (PubMed, Medline) controlled vocabulary thesaurus. Each article in PubMed or Medline is associated with a set of MeSH terms that are assigned to describe the content of an article.
  • CINAHL Subject Headings are based on MeSH (though are not identical) and native to the CINAHL database. Each article in the database is associated with a set of CINAHL subject terms that are assigned to describe the content of an article.

It's really important to distill your topic down into searchable keywords, and generate lists of possible alternate keywords as you go. You might need to change your keyword language or spelling, or use connecting terms to combine keywords to get the best results.

Keyword mode searching works because the database or search engine is matching in your search terms to content in either an article or a website.

The three words that you can use to connect and combine your keywords are andor, and not. You may see them in pull-down menus in databases.

AND tends to narrow searches because all words must be included in results.

OR tends to broaden searches because one or other terms (or all) can be present in results.

NOT selectively eliminates any results containing a specified word.

The two symbols you can also use to alter your keywords are "quotation marks" and the asterisk *.

"Quotation marks" searches for groups of words together. This works best if you are looking for a title or phrase.  

The asterisk * is usually found above the number eight on most keyboards. Use the asterisk * to abbreviate words so you can find all possible spelling variations in your search results. It will also make your search results increase, typically.


Creating a personal account in databases (when available) is an advantage for advanced researchers, especially if you are working on multiple long-term projects. Some of the features available when you create an account in a database include:

  • Custom citation lists
  • Folders and subfolders for organizing citations
  • Persistent saved citation storage across devices
  • Search alerts
  • RSS feeds
  • Direct integration with Citation Management Tools like Refworks or Endnote.

Databases that allow you to create an account include:

Google Scholar lets you set up an account and a researcher/scholar profile to list your publications and profile, among other things!

Google Scholar is free to use on the internet, and has lots of full-text articles included. Google Scholar also allows you to search explore papers that have cited a certain paper, and includes Web of Science citation counts and lists when available. 

You can also set up your own researcher/scholar profile, and organize citations.

Google Scholar also contains much more content in languages other than English and English content from more geographically diverse areas.

Connect to TAMU-CC Content!

The video below demonstrates how to go into your Google Scholar settings to connect to TAMU-CC and enable a link to TAMU-CC content and interlibrary loan links!

Evaluate this Session!

Contact the Ask Us Desk

  • Call: 361-825-2340
  • Text: 361-726-4986
  • Email us
  • Visit the Circulation Desk in Bell Library

Your Team! College of Education and Human Development and College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Left to Right: Trisha Hernandez, Emily Murphy, Lorin Flores, Aida Almanza-Ferro.

We are the librarians for College of Education and Human Development, and the College of Nursing. We look forward to working with you! To contact us or to make an appointment:

Submit your request and we'll get right back to you!

Or, you can reach out directly. For our email addresses and phone numbers, see the list below:

Aida Almanza-Ferro | | 361-825-2356
Lorin Flores | | 361-825-2609
Trisha Hernandez | |361-825-2687

Librarians are available M-F, 8-5.

The Writing Center

The CASA Writing Center can help with any type of writing at all stages of the writing process!

The Writing Center can help:

  • brainstorm ideas
  • outline your paper
  • organize your argument
  • use the clearest language possible
  • check your technical style (APA/MLA/Chicago)
  • identify and correct grammatical errors and look for patterns
  • revise your own paper
  • edit, format, and proofread your own paper

Visit their website for location, hours and contact information.


Start Your Research!

Need Articles? Start here!

These are a few selected databases to introduce you to the range of what is available, but please take a moment to explore the entire Nursing & Health Sciences Databases list!

Using Quick Search
Start at Bell Library's homepage to conduct a Quick Search. Search through all of the library's resources in one click!

Interlibrary Loan: Get Materials We Don't Own!

If you need anything Bell Library doesn't own, Interlibrary Loan is the service that can find those materials to you!

Usually, we'll be able to get the material in a few days, but a hard copy (like a full book or journal issue) will take us a little longer.

Don't forget: If you are currently a registered Distance Learner with the Registrar's Office or designated as a Remote Researcher; you can have books from Bell Library’s Main Collection, and borrowed interlibrary loan materials, shipped directly to your home for free. We also supply a prepaid return label for your convenience.

Finding Journals

Need to find out if the library has access to a journal? Or do you just need to find articles from a single journal? Click on the Journals button to search by journal title or ISSN number. 

If the library has the journal online or in print, it will display a link to either the online text or the location of the print journal in the Bell Library. 

Research Guides

Need to find suggested research resources on a topic, subject area, or class? Browse the Research Guides list. Here are a few selected research guides related to nursing research.

Point of Care Tools

APA 7th edition video