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NURS 100: Introduction to Nursing

Nursing Faculty: Cheryl Buchanan, Fall Semester 2023

CINAHL Searching Tips

WHAT IS CINAHL(Cumulated Index in Nursing and Allied Health Literature)?

  • The CINAHL database 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.


  • Use the Databases by Title link on the University of Akron Libraries' home page to access CINAHL. You can also access CINAHL on this Course Guide.



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 (2018 to 2023) and "Peer  Reviewed Journals"  Use the limiters located on the left side of the page.

Please note: Not all articles in a peer-reviewed journal are peer-reviewed articles! Review individual articles to determine if the article is peer-reviewed.


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 strategy when you have a specific nursing specialty in mind:
     ("maternal nursing" OR "maternal-child nursing") AND  (career* OR profession OR employment OR jobs)

EXAMPLE keyword search strategy when you don't have a specific nursing specialty in mind:
     ("Nursing Specialties" OR "Nurses by Specialty" OR "Nurses by Role") AND (career* OR profession OR employment OR jobs)
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.
Remember that not all words have assigned subject headings (e.g., CINAHL Headings, MeSH)

(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 (listed on the Database by Title page) to expand your search.