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Locating Nursing Literature – CINAHL Complete

On October 21, 2016 we presented a webinar about using the nursing database CINAHL Complete. Thanks to all who attended! CINAHL is the premier nursing literature database, and it contains articles and publications about the allied health fields as well as nursing.


If you were unable to attend the class, you can view the recording here:

You can also get the handouts for the class here:



Our example research question was about preventing or reducing hospital infections through handwashing. During the class we talked about using the “Advanced Search” option, using limits, and constructing a search using the Boolean operators – AND, OR, and NOT. We also saw that we could search for multiple forms of a word by adding an * to the end of the word root. For example, searching for prevent* will find preventing, prevention, preventative, etc.

We also did the search using specialized CINAHL Headings to make the search more specific.

The session also covered how to save articles to a folder, where to set up a “My EBSCOhost” account to save items more permanently, how to request items through the ILLiad system, and where to find more help through our Research Guides and online Tutorials.



A few questions were asked during the session.

What makes an article “research worthy.”

Usually articles you would want to use for research would be from scholarly, academic journals, and could also include peer reviewed articles. Most of the journal articles you find in CINAHL would be considered “scholarly.” For more information about scholarly publications, you can go the Information Literacy for TESU Students Research Guide and see the page on Scholarly Vs. Popular sources.

How to Set up a My EBSCOhost account?

CINAHL Complete is one of the many EBSCO databases that the NJ State Library subscribes to. Having a My EBSCOhost account can be beneficial because you will be able to save your articles permanently – they won’t disappear after your search session ends. You can also save search strategies. A My EBSCOhost account also lets you organize the articles you save into folders.

You can quickly set up an account. Once you are in any EBSCO database, such as CINAHL, you would just click on the link at the top right that says, Sign In. From the next screen you would choose “Create a New Account” and follow the registration instructions.

How to Create a My EBSCOhost Account:


How to use the My EBSCOhost Folder:


What do quotation marks do for phrase searching?

Using quotation marks around phrases is a common feature of many databases. It works in Google as well! When you put quotes around your search terms – “common cold,” “diabetic neuropathy,” “high blood pressure,” etc., the database will find the terms directly next to each other, exactly as you have typed them.

How to find citations? How to find APA citations?

Citing sources is something every student has to deal with, and can sometimes be a source of frustration. EBSCO makes it a little easier to find the right citation format. If you search for an article in EBSCO and want to cite it, you just need to first click on the title of the article. On the right you will see a column of icons. Hover over the icon that looks like a piece of paper and the word “cite” should appear. Click on that icon to open up the citation formats.

How to use the EBSCO Cite Feature:



For more information about citing articles, and APA format help, see the Information Literacy for TESU Students Research Guide and see the page on Citing Your Sources.