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NURS203 - Nursing II: Find Articles

Sample CINAHL search

Searching CINAHL

​CINAHL is the top nursing database. It is pronounced SIN-all and stands for the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

You might be asked to find nursing research articles published in the last 5 years. Follow the steps to search for an article by clicking on each tab in this box.

The CINAHL database defaults to Basic Search mode. Feel free to search there, but more limiters are available if you use Advanced Search.

Click on the Advanced Search link below the search bar.

Now that you are in Advanced Search mode, enter your search term. But don't click the SEARCH button just yet! You will want to set your limiters first.

As an example... select the following limiters:

  • English Language
  • Research Article
  • Journal subset: Nursing
  • Published date: 2012 - 2021 (no need to fill in Month)
  • Peer reviewed

CINAHL Advanced Search

Now you can click the SEARCH button. On your results page, you should see the limiters you chose in the upper left, and hopefully a list of articles that fit your criteria!

CINAHL Advanced Search results

The most relevant results appear at the top. You can further limit the results using other selections along the left, such as Subject Heading.

Click on an article title that looks interesting to you. Read the abstract to see what the article is about. Don't get discouraged! You may have to tweak your search a few times and look at many articles before you find one you really want to read. This is normal!

Be sure to check all of the criteria that your instructor has given you.

For research articles, be sure to scan the article to see headings such as Purpose, Methods, Results, Discussion.

CINAHL research article example

When you click an article title, you will see some useful tools along the right. If you hover over each symbol you will see what the tool does. 

Emailing the article is a popular tool, as well as saving to Google Drive.

If you want to print the article, do not use the print citation feature. Instead, hover over the article and use the print icon that appears.

CINAHL article tools


Ovid Nursing

Searching PubMed

Searching PubMed

PubMed is free and powerful database. It is good to know how to use it because it might be the only research resource you have when you leave nursing school. If you are looking for that perfect article and cannot find it in CINAHL, give PubMed a try!

Short interactive tutorial on using PubMed's basic search to find articles

PubMed how to find articles on a topic

Stay current in your profession. Read these journals!