Resources for the College of Nursing
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I find journal articles written by nurses?
- How can I find a meta-synthesis?
- How can I find a content analysis or conceptual definition?
- How can I limit articles to the last 10 years?
- How can I tell if something is peer-reviewed?
- How do I get a resource that the Biomedical Library doesn't own?
- What resources does the library have to help me prepare for the NCLEX-RN or the Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam?
None of our databases allow you to limit to articles written only by nurses, but if your article is within a nursing journal the chances of it being written by a nurse is much greater. To confirm that the article is written by a nurse, look for the authors credentials, which are usually listed on the first page. To limit your search to just nursing journals in CINAHL, type "nursing" in one of the search fields and then select "SB Journal Subset" from the "Select a Field" drop down box. If you are searching in PubMed, you can limit to nursing journals by selecting the "Limits" tab and then the "Nursing journals" category from "Subsets .
A meta-synthesis is a complete study that has rigorously examined and interpreted the findings of a number of qualitative research studies using qualitative methods. Since it is a newer term in the field of nursing, the databases do not always distinguish between a meta-synthesis (summary of qualitative research) and a meta-analysis (summary of quantitative research), nor are there many of them. Additionally, you will see variations on the term (meta-synthesis, metasynthesis, meta synthesis), or other terms that have been used in place of meta-synthesis (qualitative research, grounded formal theory, meta-analysis, meta-interpretation, meta-study). The best way to find a meta-synthesis is to construct a search strategy that takes these variations into consideration. For example, in PubMed, my search might look like this: diabetes AND qualitative research AND (meta synthesis OR meta-synthesis OR metasynthesis OR grounded formal theory). Seven articles were retrieved using this strategy. In CINAHL, the database will try to match the term meta-synthesis to meta-analysis, again showing that the databases are not yet distinguishing between the two terms. If you run a keyword search on the term "meta-synthesis" the database returns only 55 articles. If I combine that with a topic such as diabetes or pressure ulcers, zero articles are retrieved. If I run a key word search using the terms "qualitative research" and "synthesis", I return 82 articles. In short, there is no one way to search for a meta-synthesis, and the number of meta-syntheses in the databases is currently limited. If you are required to find one for an assignment, make sure to pick a topic that is broad enough to include this type of article.
CINAHL does have an index term for "content analysis" but not one for "conceptual definition". To do a search on "content analysis and nursing shortage", select the index terms for both, which would return 21 articles. For a search on conceptual definition and nursing shortage, select the index term for "nursing shortage" and the keyword for "conceptual definition", which returns 1 article. PubMed does not have index terms for either term, but a search on "content analysis AND nursing shortage" does retrieve 16 articles, whereas "conceptual definition AND nursing shortage" does not retrieve anything on topic.
Each database will allow you to limit your search to a specific time frame. In PubMed, select the Limits tab and then in the Dates section you can select the "Published in the Last" drop down box to select the time frame you desire. In CINAHL, the "Published Date from" section below your search boxes will allow you to specify the dates you want.
A peer-reviewed or refereed journal is one that has other scholars in the author's field critically assess the article prior to publication, a process that helps to ensure solid scholarship within that field. CINAHL makes it easy to find peer-reviewed articles by providing a "Peer-Reviewed" limit option available on the front search page. Most other databases do not have this option, however, so the process of determining what articles are from peer-reviewed journals can be more difficult. The journal's or publisher's web site usually contain this information and describes the process for publishing in the journal. You can also refer to the journal itself if you have access to the print format, usually in the first few pages of the journal or at the end. If you have problems determining whether or not a journal is peer reviewed you can also contact the reference desk at (251) 460-7044 or through the live chat feature and we can help you.
The Biomedical Library is connected electronically with other libraries and able to borrow resources that we may not have in our collection. To request a copy of those articles, choose "Order An Article" from the Biomedical Library's web page, or go directly to our Interlibrary Loan page. Click on "Log into your Illiad account". (ILLiad is the electronic system used to manage all Biomedical Library Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery requests.) If you have not yet set up an account, then click on "First Time User." If you have an account, fill in your Username and Password. At the next screen, fill in the appropriate information for the article or book needed.
The Biomedical Library library holds the following:
- Davis's NCLEX-RN Review-Lagerquist, 2012 (E-BOOK)
- CliffsTestPrep NCLEX-RN-Grayson, 2005 (E-BOOK)
- Chicago Review Press NCLEX-PN Practice Test and Review (Link 2)-Waide and Roland, 2004 (E-BOOK)
- NLN guide to success on nursing examinations-Laskevich, 1987 (Reserves/Circulation)
- Test success : test-taking techniques for beginning nursing students-Nugent & Vitale, 2000 (WY 18.2 N967t 2000, Biomedical Library, 3rd Floor)
- Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination: Review Questions and Strategies-Winland-Brown & Dunphy, 2009 (E-BOOK)
Links to helpful websites:
- NCLEX Test Review
- Drexel University NCLEX Study Resources
- Alverno Library's NCLEX Wiki
- NCLEX Test Plans