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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

NURS 303 Foundations of Professional Nursing: Library Resources

Tips on how to do the research for your assignments.


CINAHL is the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.  It is a bibliographic database that provides users with a way to identify publications such as journal articles and dissertations that match the search terms you input.  In other words, you can isolate literature on the topic of your choice.

Enter your search terms in the boxes provided.  Select limiting options as desired.
  • Use the * for truncating search words.
  • CINAHL automatically phrase searches.


PubMed is also a bibliographic database, possibly the most highly used biomedical database in the world.  PubMed indexes primarily journal articles. 


1. Enter search terms in the search box.  Select from options on the Limits page.  

2. Another suggestion is to use the Search Builder on the Advanced Search page.  

  1. Enter a single term (could be more than one word).  
  2. Leave the default to search All Fields or specify the field in which you wish the search term to appear.
  3. Click Show Index to display a preview of the number of search results for that term and the ones around it.  Choose a term that matches your needs and provides a relatively large number of results.
  4. Click Add to Search Box.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for each concept in your search topic.
  6. Click Search to run the final search.

Select options from the Limits page to narrow your results.


  • Use quotation marks to specifiy phrase searching on the basic search page. Ex. "end of life"
  • Use * to truncate search words.
  • Use OR to include similar terms such as synonyms. Ex. heart attack OR myocardial infarction
    • When using AND with OR terms, enclose the OR phrase in parentheses.
      • Ex. (stroke OR cva ) AND ('physical activity" OR exercise)


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