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Nursing Portal: CINAHL

Your gateway to nursing research @ the University Libraries

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to the Nursing and Allied Health Literature)

CINAHL is an essential resource for locating journal articles from the nursing and allied health literature.  It is an electronic database providing indexing and full-text to articles from over 5,000 journals ‚Äčwith coverage dating back to 1937.  In addition to journal articles, CINAHL provides access to evidence-based care sheets which summarize the latest research evidence on various healthcare topics of clinical significance.  Also indexed in CINAHL are student dissertations, conference proceedings, audiovisuals, books, book chapters, and more.  

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Searching CINAHL for Research Articles

This video provides a live demonstration of CINAHL by UT Nursing Librarian Jodi Jameson.  

*This tutorial was originally created for BSN students in the NURS 3290 Nursing Research 2 course, but is general enough to be utilized by students at all levels in all nursing courses.  

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Advanced Searching in CINAHL

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Using Subject Headings to Search CINAHL

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Creating a Personalized CINAHL Account to Save & Manage Searches

Step 1: Access CINAHL

Click here to access CINAHL either on or off-campus.  If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to authenticate by entering your first and last name, and Rocket number.  

Step 2: Perform Your Search

To locate articles on a topic in CINAHL, there are two ways of searching: 1) keyword or 2) subject heading.  

Keyword searching is a good way to begin your search, especially if you are not sure of the exact terminology to use as search terms. Search results will be based on the exact keywords that you entered.  As you sift through your search results, you will begin to recognize additional terminology to use in your search strategy to locate more relevant articles.  It will also help you to identify subject headings to use in a more advanced search.  See a video tutorial here.  

Subject heading searching is a targeted way to search for articles.  Articles in CINAHL have been indexed with CINAHL Headings, which work like a thesaurus.  If there is more than one way of describing a concept or topic (i.e. hypertension or high blood pressure), the subject heading will take all of those varieties into consideration - saving you the time of having to experiment with different keywords.  See a video tutorial here.

Step 3: Refine Your Search

On the left side of your search results page, under Limit To, you will notice some options to refine your search results, including Publication Date, Research Article and Peer-Reviewed.  Click the Show More link to display a full menu of limits.  

Step 4: Obtain Full-Text Articles

When viewing your search results in CINAHL, you will see different links depending on the availability of the full-text such as:


Click a link to immediately download the full article

If you do not see full-text links, click the  link to see if the library has an electronic copy available elsewhere. 

Step 5: Requesting Articles via Interlibrary Loan

If the full-text is unavailable, you may request copies of articles by using Interlibrary Loan

Click on Place a request for this item using your ILLiad Interlibrary Loan account within the Find It! window, or from the library's homepage click the ILLiad link under Quick Links. 

Step 6: Viewing Your Search History

While you search, CINAHL keeps track of your search terms, including keywords, subject headings, and any limits applied, as well as the number of results retrieved for each search.  To access your search history, click the link located above your search results.