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NUR 311: Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Course guide developed by your Librarian

Introduction to the Course

Welcome to the Research Starter for NUR 311!

If you have never done a research project before, you may be wondering where tos start! Knowing how to identify and assess scholarly information and apply it to your practice is an important skill in this profession. As part of your studies you will have various tasks and assignments that require you to work with the library resources. What resources should you use and how do you search them? This course guide will help you get started with finding research articles. Determining the answers to the questions above can be challenging, but by using this course guide you will be on your way! In this guide, you will learn:

  • Basic search strategies to find relevant results
  • Common databases to use and how to search them
  • How to retrieve the articles that you find

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available, and you can waste time if you look in the wrong place. For specific assistance finding articles for your upcoming assignment, please contact your Nursing Librarian (Cynthia Hunt), 860-913-2066, chunt@goodwin.edu. You can find Cynthia on the 1st Floor of the Hoffman Family Library. Drop in and visit for quick reference assistance. For in-depth one-on-one and small group assistance, please schedule an appointment in advance.

In the event that Cynthia is unavailable, feel free to contact another librarian at the Hoffman Family Library: 860-913-2042.

Common terms you may come across related to research:

List of selected nursing journal titles. Not a comprehensive list of journal holdings.

Information literacy is not the same as the ability to read, use the computer effectively or use search engines. This skill goes beyond comprehending the basics of finding resources. Understanding information transforms it from knowledge you have into knowledge you can actually use. As a nurse, you need knowledge that makes a difference in your practice and helps you stay current in your field.
Nurses learning to effectively process and use information from published research can improve their information literacy. Simply reading study results is of little help if you do not comprehend what you read. Information literacy empowers nurses to use research in their careers so they can make meaningful clinical decisions.

What is Evidence-based Nursing?

"An ongoing process by which evidence, nursing theory and the practitioners’ clinical expertise are critically evaluated and considered, in conjunction with patient involvement, to provide delivery of optimum nursing care for the individual" (Scott & McSherry, 2009, p. 1089).

"Evidence-Based Nursing (EBN) is an integration of the best evidence available, nursing expertise, and the values and and preferences of the individual, families, and communities who are served..." (Scott & McSherry, 2009, p. 1090).

Scott, K., & McSherry, R. (2009). Evidence‐based nursing: clarifying the concepts for nurses in practiceJournal of clinical nursing18(8), 1085-1095.