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NRSG 221 Health and Healing IV: Health Challenges/Healing Initiatives: Searching for articles

In This Guide...

  • This Course Guide includes resources and tips to help you with your NRSG 221 annotated bibliography assignment. 
  • For assistance with searching for articles or formatting your assignment you can, email Robert Janke, Nursing Librarian, Okanagan Library to make an appointment or visit the Service Desk in the Library.

Recommended Databases:

CINAHL Tips: Subject Headings

There is plenty of literature on the suggested topics for this assignment (i.e. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Parkinson's Disease) so the best way to limit your results when searching CINAHL, and retrieve only the most relevant citations, is to use subject heading searching.  CINAHL Headings (or MeSH Headings in Medline) are assigned to articles in these databases and describe what they are really about.  Further, most headings will also have a Nursing subheading, that when applied retrieves even more precise results. 

After clicking the CINAHL Headings link enter your concept to find the corresponding subject heading.  Some concepts might not return any results and require you to search for a synonym.  What is a synonym for thrombotic cerebral vascular accident?

In the example below I searched for diabetes and it suggested Diabetes Mellitus.  Exploding a search will include the parent heading in the search as well as any narrower headings such as Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 as well as Type 2.  Only search the concept as a Major Concept if there are a few hundred results as it can be very restrictive.  For this assignment, with these broad topics, you should make use of the Nursing subheading as the articles need to be directly related to nursing practice.. 



CINAHL Tips: Nursing Journal Limits

After you execute the search you should see some results back on the main search screen as in below.

The assignment requires you to find two articles, at least one of which needs to be from a nursing journal.  One strategy to do this is to search for journals that include the word nurse or nursing in the title.  To do this search for nurs* and restrict the search to the SO Publication Name field as in below.

To combine this search with your concept (Subject Heading) search make use of the Search History function.

CINAHL Tips: Date, Abstract, Academic Journals, & Number of Pages Limit

After combining your concept with the SO search for journal articles there are a number of other useful limits in the left hand column in CINAHL.  The Abstract Available limit ensures that the results you review in CINAHL will have aa short abstract, or summary, for you to look at.  Although it is possible to sort your results by date it is also possible to only retrieve results from within a certain time span by using the Publication Date limit.  Another requirement of the assignment is to retrieve articles from peer-reviewed academic journals, there is an Academic Journals limit under source type.


One final limit that is useful for this assignment is located on the Advanced Search page.  It is possible to limit by the Number of Pages of the journal article.  For this assignment, where you are looking for articles between 3-10 pages in length restrict the results to articles that are greater than 2 pages. 

Southern Medical Program Librarian

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Jane Jun
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