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NUR 211 / NUR 213 / NUR 214: Literature Search Resources

This guide will help you with your assignments for courses NUR211 and NUR213.


Welcome ASN students!

This guide is populated with resources to help you with your EBP assignments.  Check out the tabs above for additional help with APA, creating an annotated bibliography, and writing assistance available on campus.  My contact information is there too.  - Amy


Click on a name below to go to that section
Clinical reference tools
Windshield survey resources
Annotated bibliography

Logging into library resources (OpenAthens)

In order to use library resources, you will need to login.  New: PA College and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health users can use their respective credentials to login to library resources.  A separate OpenAthens account and password is no longer necessary.

Clinical reference tools

Windshield survey: Resources and citing

Check out these places to search for information for your windshield survey.  There is also help for citing.


Some information for Part I of your Windshield Survey will be easier to find by exploring your location in-person.   For questions that are not as easy to see in-person, see the suggestions below.

  • US Census Bureau's Quick Facts is a great resource for demographic information.  Please note that the census is only done every ten years:
  • County Health Rankings & Roadmaps has health outcomes and factors by county:
  • Health Data Tools and Statistics from Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce has additional suggested resources for county and local health data:
  • Local government: Does your community's local government have a website?  Do they list information on their website that would give you more information about your community and issues facing it?
  • Local organizations in your area: These groups might have information on their websites about your community including resources available and issues facing your community.  For example, Pennsylvania 2-1-1 East is a website from the United Way with resources available in their part of the state:
  • Online maps: Try searching an online mapping service to see if there are items in your community that you did not see in your in-person survey.
  • Interviews: Try interviewing members of your community who might be knowledgeable on a certain topic.

Below are some suggested pages from the APA Style Blog that might be helpful in citing content you found for Part I of your Windshield Survey.

Annotated bibliography: Finding articles


  1. You want to find research articles (evidence) that show your intervention has been successful for achieving your outcome.  In other words, not research that confirms something is a problem, but research that shows your intervention has been beneficial.  
  2. To find research articles, I would suggest using these options to help you get started.
    1. In CINAHL, look for the option on the advanced search page (the page you start on) to checkmark Research Article.
    2. In PubMed, look for the option for Clinical Queries on the homepage. 
  3. If your population relates to a certain age group, look for the option to limit by age group.  Each of the suggested databases has an option to limit to articles that include a certain age group.

Primary sources (research articles)

Woman looking through a microscopePrimary sources are ones where you are hearing from someone directly involved with the information.  For example, the author of the article was the one who performed the research experiment.

Look for the Methods section in the article to see what method was used.  You want the methods section to indicate the author was the one doing the experiment and not analyzing the work of others.  If you do not see a methods section or the article title has something like literature review, systematic review, or meta-analysis in it, look for other options.  There is more information on primary sources here: You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian in Starfish for assistance.

CINAHL search techniques

Labeled CINAHL screenshot.  See the text below the image for more details.

When searching in CINAHL, take advantage of the search features.  Some suggested ones are below.

1. Full-text: This will show you articles the library has access to.

2. Date:  Your professor might give you a date range in your assignment.  If not, you might have to make your own decision.

3. Peer-reviewed (scholarly):  This indicates the the article went through a peer reviewed process and is a criteria your professor might ask you to include.

4, English language: This will only show you articles available in English.

5. Research article:  This will help you find research articles.  If you look in the methods section, you can learn more about the kind of research that was done.

Other options: There are options to limit by clinical area, age of the patient, type of research, etc. on this page.  Try clicking different options to see what happens.


Having trouble viewing the image?  Try right-clicking on it and opening it in a new window.

Searching Using Keywords

Limiting your search

Below is a sample search in one of our databases.  Use this features to help you with your search no matter what database you use.  These options might look different in different database, because they are owned by different companies.

Additional resources

Health Sciences Library - Seraph Learning Commons - Cooper Building - 850 Greenfield Road - Lancaster, PA 17601 - - (717 947-6022).PA Forward logo