Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

NUR 212 / NUR 215 / NUR 216: Literature Search Resources

This guide will help you with your class assignments.


Welcome ASN students!

This guide is populated with resources to help you with your EBP project.  Check out the Learning Commons Resources tab above for help with APA, writing, and tutoring.  My contact information is there too.  - Amy

Suggested Databases

Check out these databases to find strong, relevant research to answer your PICO question.

Logging into library resources (OpenAthens)

In order to use library resources, you will need to login. PA College and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health users can use their respective credentials to login to library resources.

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