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NUR 60 Nursing Success Strategies: Database Resources

Common Database Resources for Nursing Students

Nursing Approved Journal List & Handout

The nursing program requires you to use articles from the a list approved by the nursing department. If you want to use an article that is not from a journal on the approved list, you must have instructor permission.

Research Tips

State Your Topic

  • As a question: "What are some self-care and stress management strategies employed by nursing students?"
  • Or, as a statement: "Time-management and stress-reduction are skills fundamental to becoming a successful nurse ."

Through research, you will answer your question/prove your statement.

Get Background Information: Clinical Guidelines & Reference

Doing some basic background searching about your topic can help immensely in gaining foundational knowledge.  Here are some resources you might use:

Nursing Resource Center Disease and drug overviews, care plans and animated anatomy and physiology diagrams

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

Center for Disease Control one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. 

CDC Nation Center for Health Statistics

Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

RxList an online medical resource dedicated to offering detailed and current pharmaceutical information on brand and generic drugs.

Trip a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.

Framing Your Research

What do you already know about your topic?

Making a list will help you map out what you already know, and may also aid you in figuring out where your weak points are.

What you need to find out? 

This probably became quite clear as you made the list in bullet point one. Where are the holes in your argument? What information are you lacking? What could strengthen your argument?

Brainstorm Keywords

  • Diagram the words related to your topic
    •  check out the terms, subject headings, and MeSH terms used in the literature. Check for words used in your guidelines, reference sources, background resources, and scholarly articles, like the example below from CINAHL

Construct Your Search

Boolean Operators

Use with the library catalog and research databases. They also work with search engines.

Operator Changes Your Search Results Example
AND narrows search women AND heart disease AND diet
OR expands search diet OR nutrition
NOT narrows search diet NOT cookbook
* expands search perform* finds perform, performance, performer, performers...

Too many results?

Narrow your search. Use more specific terms to describe what you are looking for:
Use the specific term heart disease, instead of the general term health

Add more terms to your search using AND:

  • heart disease AND exercise AND diet

Tells the database that you only want items that contain ALL of the terms

Exclude words from your search using NOT:

  • heart disease AND diet NOT cookbook

Tells the database that you want everything that contains the words heart disease and diet but you don't want anything that contains the word cookbook

Too few results?

Broaden your search. Use less specific terms to describe what you are looking for

Search for synonyms and related terms using OR:

  • heart disease OR cardiovascular disease

Bad results?

Think of different words to describe your topic:

  • exercise, aerobics, physical fitness, physical activity, obesity

Keep Organized

  • Save copies of resources on your computer, flashdrive, a folder in your email, cloud account (GoogleDrive/iCloud/etc.) or database account
  • Use the list of things you need to find out:
    • Cross off things as you find them
    • Concentrate on gaps you need to fill
  • Or maybe look into getting a citation/reference manager like Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote or any number of others
  • Keep tract of places you already searched and keywords you tried! Many of the databases have tips and tools to find subject headings and MeSH terms to suit your search, make use of them! Also, you might try exploring the other databases within EBSCO, and search them in conjunction. The small, yellow, chat boxes will give a brief description of the database. 
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Database Tutorials

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