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Introduction to Nursing (Wayne): Career Interest Literature Search: Home


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.

Locating CINAHL:

  • From the Wayne College Library homepage select "Databases by Title"
  • Enter the title of the database and select "Submit"
  • Click on the title of the database to begin searching.
  • You can also locate CINAHL by following the links provided throughout this 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, "Any Author is Nurse".


2. On the search box, type your nursing specialty. For example, travel nursing
3. Click the SEARCH button to run the search.

4. On the Results Page, to meet the criteria for your assignment, please limit your search to the last five years (2015 to 2020) and "Scholarly  (Peer  Reviewed) Journals"  Use the limiters located on the left side of the page.

TIP: If there are many citations, consider limiting your search by Geography (i.e. limit the search to the United States) or add more words to your search (e.g. career). If there are too few citations, contact us for questions!

Locating Full Text of Articles

On the article record of databases, look for these icons to direct you to the full-text availability. Check them all.

This is the scanned image of the article, including illustrations/graphs.

2.  or   

These HTML articles tend to include more pages than the PDF versions.  May include audio options.

The Full Text Finder link will direct you to full-text options available from other UA licensed databases (e.g. OhioLINK’s Electronic Journal Center, EJC) or the publisher/database vendor's website.

This link usually means that the article is not available at UA. You can request the article via InterLibrary Loan.  InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is a free document delivery system for UA students, faculty and staff. See below for instructions and a link to Wayne College's form.

Example of article record in CINAHL database:

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CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature) is designed specifically for academic institutions and is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full text database, with more than 8,500 full text periodicals, including 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. The database, produced by EBSCO, features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in searchable PDF format. NOTE: Some articles indexed in this database are not available as full text.

Search Tips:

Wildcard / Truncation:

Academic Search Complete uses an asterisk (*) to replace an unlimited number of letters follow a word root and a question mark (?) to replace a single character inside a word.

Boolean Operators:

Academic Search Complete uses: AND, OR, NOT

AND: Finds records that contain both words, although not necessarily in the same sentence or in the given order. AND ties the two concepts together and provides a more narrow search than just a single word alone.
OR: Finds records that contain either word or both words. Use OR for synonymous or related terms; this broadens the search.
NOT: Finds records that contain the first word and that do not contain the second word.

Nesting / Grouping Search Terms:

The default order of operations is performed from the left to the right. Control you search terms and operators by developing an advanced search strategy with multiple operators, grouping or "nesting" terms joined with OR inside parentheses:

(AIDS OR HIV) AND (treatment OR therapies)

Exact Phrase:

Enclose search terms inside quotation marks ("medical insurance") to ensure that your search terms will appear in the exact order in the search results.

Proximity Operators:

You can use proximity operators to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other. The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:

Near Operator (N): N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear.

medicare N2 supplements

Within Operator (W): W3 finds the words if they are within three words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.

aneurysm W3 (brain OR head )

Field Searching:

The default fields for unqualified searches consist of the following: all authors, all subjects, all keywords, all title info (including source title) and all abstracts. Field specific searches may be performed on the following fields: All text, Author, Title, Subject terms, Abstract, Journal name, Age Group, and more!


Limit results by date, publication type, number of pages, peer-reviewed, and more!

The Info Squad @ UA Wayne College Library

Just ask the Info Squad at the University of Akron Wayne College Library

Start your search at UA Wayne College Library and Chat with us live!

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