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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN)

This guide contains helpful information for those students enrolled in the RN-BSN Program at Goodwin University
CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) is the major database for finding articles in nursing and other allied health fields.
  • In the basic search the article type limiter “research” may be very useful, as well as the option to limit to peer-reviewed articles
  • There is an article type “research instrument”, but it doesn’t pull up many results.
  • Health sciences students are often told to limit their results to the last five years so the date limiter feature will be useful   
  • In advanced search mode you can limit by age group and to the special interest “evidence-based practice” (use with caution – it means the article is about evidence based practice). Faculty especially might be interested in the “first author is nurse” limiter.

Finding Evidence-Based Articles

CINAHL Complete is a great choice for finding evidence-based articles because it already has a limiter set up for this. Here are instructions on how to do this.

  1. Click this link above to go to CINAHL.
  2. Scroll down below the green bar to find the long list of limiters.  (Hint: look at some of the other choices on the way. You may find others that will come in handy in the future.) 
  3. In the right column, find one that says "Evidence-based practice."  Check this box.
  4. Go back up to the search boxes at the top and enter your search terms; you'll be assured that all the articles you find are evidence-based.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Clinical Competence

Communication in Nursing

Discourse Analysis Narrative


Evidence Based Nursing

Experiential Research

Geriatric Nursing

Health Attitudes

Health Services Accessibility

Health Sex Differences

Health Social Aspects

Home Nursing


Intensive Care Nursing


Maternity Nursing

Medicine Clinical Research


Minorities Medical Care

Nurse Administrators

Nurse and Patient

Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Clinicians

Nurse Patient Relationship

Nurse Practitioners

Nursing Assessment

Nursing Care Methods

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing Diagnosis

Nursing Models Research

Nursing Philosophy

Nursing Psychological Aspects

Nursing Research

Nursing Services Administration

Nursing Social Aspects

Operating Room Nursing

Patient Compliance

Patient Education

Pediatric Nursing


Surgical Nursing

CINAHL Clinical Queries

Clinical Queries are built in filters that allow users to limit searches with specific search strategies, to aid in retrieving scientifically sound and clinically relevant study reports indexed in CINAHL databases. Searches can be refined using specific search strategies designed to produce results in five research areas:

  • Therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Review
  • Qualitative
  • Causation (Etiology)

As research may require different emphasis, three strategies are provided for each area.

  • High Sensitivity is the broadest search, to include ALL relevant material. It may also include less relevant materials.
  • High Specificity is the most targeted search to include only the most relevant result set, may miss some relevant materials.
  • Best Balance retrieves the best balance between Sensitivity and Specificity.

To perform a search using Clinical Queries

  1. Enter the CINAHL database.
  2. Enter your search terms.
  3. Go to the "Show More" under the date range slider to see the "Search Options" page, and select the desired choices (from above) in the Clinical Query box.
  4. Click Search.