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NURS 4318: Nurse as Research Consumer: Home

Finding Appropriate Articles in CINAHL and more!

What's a keyword?

It's really important to distill your topic down into searchable keywords. You might need to change your keyword language or spelling, or use what we call "boolean operators" to combine keywords to get the best results.

Made with Padlet

CINAHL is a core nursing database. It also has a great selection of filters you can use to look at subsets of your results. Some of the filters you will want to pay attention to for this assignment are:

  • Journal Subset (pull-down menu; choose Nursing)
  • Any Author is Nurse (checkbox)
  • Published Date (pull-down menus to specify a date range)
  • First Author is Nurse (checkbox)
  • Age Groups (possibly)

You might have noticed the pull-down menus on the left side of the search boxes with three words. This is how you use them.

You might have noticed the pull-down menus on the left side of the search boxes with three words. This is how you use them.


The three words that comprise boolean search operators are and, or, and not. Take a look at the image to the right to get a sense of how they work. 


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 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.


You can use boolean search terms in PubMed, too! The search interface looks a little different:

The filters in PubMed are on the left-hand side on the result list.

Take a look at the author list to see their affiliations. You may need to use lateral reading to verify their professional status.

Lateral reading is using other websites and sources to verify claims and content on websites you are evaluating. It is a strategy used by professional fact-checkers. It's as simple as opening up a few more windows on your browser and searching other sites for claims, persons, things, and events to verify content as  your read the source page.

It's different than vertical reading, which is when you stay on a website and follow the links or analyze the content on your source page without verifying with outside sources. 

You can use lateral reading to verify author affiliations or other information!

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Databases - Gathering Information for Your Evidence Tables

For this assignment you must use two databases, and one needs to be CINAHL. You can link to CINAHL here or at the library's Nursing and Health Sciences database list from the library's website.

More Helpful Links!

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

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

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
Emily Sartorius Murphy | | 361-825-2610
Julee Murphy | | 361-825-2608

Librarians are available M-F, 8-5.