Nursing Guide

Library FAQs

Databases for NSC 890

Remember that while some databases, like CINAHL, have limiters which target particular types of research studies, you can always use the type of study as a search term in addition to your topic: randomized controlled trial, qualitative, systematic review, etc.  This will work in any database including CINAHL.

Other Considerations

Librarians will be happy to help coach you in your searches, by suggesting databases, search terms, limiters, etc.  Sometimes we demonstrate searches to model search techniques that you can use in the future.  Our goal is to help you become self-sufficient so that you can find evidence-based content throughout your professional life.

Once we have helped you start some searches, it’s very likely that the resulting articles will differ in quality; as with any search, some will meet your requirements and some will be less useful.  This is the point where you will need to do some digging and exercise your critical thinking skills.  The level of research you are currently performing can be both time-consuming and sometimes frustrating; but it is always worthwhile!

Levels of Evidence from Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt (2015). Evidence-Based practice in nursing & healthcare (3nd ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Cochrane Library

When using the Cochrane Library, which is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence, you will specifically search two: the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. I recommend searching them separately.  To do so, access the database at, select Choose Databases, uncheck all that don't apply, click OK and start searching.

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