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Introduction to Nursing: 8200:100: Getting Started

Nursing Faculty: Cheryl Buchanan and Cheryl Owen, Fall 2020

Career Interest Paper: CINAHL Searching Tips

What is CINAHL?

  • CINAHL stands for Cumulated Index in Nursing and Allied Health Literature.
  • CINAHL provides coverage of nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association, including coverage of allied health disciplines.
  • CINAHL indexes over 5,000 journals and full-text coverage (i.e. entire articles are available) dating back to 1937. Also contains books/book chapters, dissertations, conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, and legal cases.

Accessing CINAHL: Use the Databases by Title link on the University of Akron Libraries' homepage to access CINAHL. You can also access CINAHL on this Course Guide.


Searching CINAHL

The Advanced Search in CINAHL looks for a combination of significant words connected by operators (AND, OR).
1. To meet the criteria for your assignment, please limit your search to nursing author(s) by selecting the CINAHL limiter, "First Author is Nurse"




2. At the top of the page, select the 'Choose Databases' from the list and select all databases. Mark the box, "" This will expand the number of citations retrieved.
3. On the search box, type your nursing specialty. For example, travel nursing
4. Click the SEARCH button to run the search.

5. On the Results Page, to meet the criteria for your assignment, please limit your search to the last five years (2014 to 2019) and "Scholarly (Peer  Reviewed) Journals"  Use the limiters located on the left side of the page.


Try these searching strategies to find a supporting article for your writing assignment:

(1) Search for the nursing specialty or a specific aspect of the professional nursing role using keywords:

EXAMPLE keyword search strings:
     ("maternal nursing" OR "maternal-child nursing")
     ("Nursing Specialties" OR "Nurses by Specialty" OR "Nurses by Role")
     (career* OR "working condition*" OR "work* environment")

AFTER running the search, use limiters to refine search results to the last five years, first author as nurse, for example.

(2) Use CINAHL Headings:

Type your keyword to determine if CINAHL has any recommended headings (database-specific language used to categorized the publications). Then, follow the prompts. See example on handout. Remember that not all words have assigned headings.

(3) Search multiple databases within the EBSCOhost interface.  Make sure that the first author is a nurse (i.e. look for educational credentials).

(4) Search PubMed@UA (located in the Database page) to expand your search.  Refine your search results to "Nursing Journals"

Marilia Antunez

Marilia Antúnez's picture
Marilia Antúnez
University Libraries
Science &Technology Library
Auburn Science and Engineering Center (ASEC) 104
Akron, OH 44325

Too Few Results? Too Many Results?

If you have too few citations, add related specialties to your search strategy (e.g. travel nursing OR flight nursing). Use the OR operator to search for related words/synonyms. Please contact us at the UA Libraries for any questions. If there are too many citations, consider limiting your search by Geography (i.e. limit the search to the U.S.)--this limiter may not always be available.  Another option is to add more keywords to your search strategy (e.g. travel nursing AND career).