// Skip to Main Content
Banner Image

Practical Nursing Sources


This page is intended to help B. Sc. Nursing degree students improve their research skills. The content here provides students with awareness and familiarity with stronger competencies for assignment research, at this level.

  • In column 1, we have a tutorial overview on the PICO searching method.
  • In column 2, we have in-depth nursing collections and journals with advanced techniques for searching these collections and evaluating the results.
  • In column 3, we have information about using CINAHL / MeSH subject headings while researching.

Search Strategy

PICO tutorials

Library Search

Note: Search box does not open a new window.

Pyramid Technique of Hierarchy of Evidence

When reviewing search results, you should carefully evaluate them using this technique

  • Meta-Analysis: A systematic review that uses quantitative methods to synthesize & summarize results.
  • Systematic Review: A summary of medical literature that uses explicit methods to perform a comprehensive literature search & critical appraisal of individual studies.
  • Randomized Controlled Trial: Participants are randomly allocated into experimental, or control groups & are followed over time for the variables/outcomes of interest.
  • Cohort Study: Identifies participants who currently have a certain condition or receive treatment and are followed over time & compared with another group of people who are not affected by the condition.
  • Case Control Study: Identifies participants who have a certain outcome (cases) & participants without that outcome (controls).
  • Case Report/Case Series: A report on one or more participants with a particular outcome.

CINAHL: Major Concept and Explode Techniques

Think of this as using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) with subject headings instead of with keywords.

Research Instruments in CINAHL

Find Research Instruments in CINAHL

CINAHL is the major database of nursing and allied health information. There are multiple ways to search for research instruments in CINAHL. The most appropriate for you depends on what you want to know. When searching by the name of a research instrument, it is often most effective to use a unique term or phrase from the name of the instrument, instead of the exact name.

To find a work that is a published research instrument, search for a Publication Type of RESEARCH INSTRUMENT. This indicates the work indexed is actually a research instrument.

  1. Search using search terms for your topic
  2. Click Advanced Search to view search options
  3. From the drop-down menu of Publication Types, click Research Instrument.
  4. Click Search

To find a body of work that uses a specific research instrument, search using the particular name of the research instrument as an INSTRUMENTATION in the drop-down list.

  1. Enter the specific name of the research instrument and
  2. Select INSTRUMENTATION from the drop-down list of search fields
  3. Click Search

Privacy information

Staff Alma Login