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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


In nursing, it is very important to use journal articles to find current research on your topic. While books are excellent for background and reference information, they are not published as frequently as articles. When searching for articles on a current topic, your date range should fall between three to five years, as data and statistics can become dated very quickly. Journal articles can be found by using the library databases that are appropriate for your nursing topic.

The Hoffman Family Library has access to research databases containing reputable nursing publications. Some databases will cover several subjects, while others cover a specific subject in depth.




Magazines are written for the general public. They feature lots of    pictures and advertisements. The authors of the articles are often staff writers. The content includes information on current events, entertainment and special features.


Information in newspapers is targeted toward the general public. Newspapers usually feature black and white print and photographs. The articles are written by journalists and staff writers. The articles discuss news events and special features.

Trade Journal

Trade journals contain information for professionals within a specific  industry. Usually staff writers or industry professionals write the articles. They feature color photographs and industry specific advertisements. The articles discuss news and special features related to a specific industry.

Academic Journal

Researchers and scholars are the main audience for academic journals. They do not feature pictures or advertisements. Research articles make-up the content. They are written by researchers/scholars of a particular profession or discipline.

Boolean Searching

When you are searching for articles, your results are more effective when using AND, OR, and NOT connectors. These connectors allow you to link keywords and determine the relationship between them.

The most frequently used keyword connector is "AND". The "AND" connector will narrow your search results and includes both keywords in your sources.


You are searching for articles on the shortage of nurses in the United States. The keywords for your search strategy could be nurse shortage and United States or nursing and staff shortage. Limiting your search by region/geography will be helpful if too many articles focus on other countries.