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NURS 5910 (MSN) & 7910 (DNP): Advanced Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice: CINAHL

This library guide is designed for students in the NURS 5910 (MSN) & 7910 (DNP) Advanced Nursing Research & EBP course.

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: CINAHL - Getting Started with Finding Full-Text Articles

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

*This tutorial was originally created for BSN students, but is general enough to be utilized by students at all levels, including MSN and DNP.  


The EBSCOhost tutorials below will advise you to check the Full-Text limit.  Please do not do this, as it will restrict your search to EBSCO-only content, and will eliminate the full-text of additional articles available via the UToledo Libraries or articles that you can obtain via interlibrary loan.  

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Advanced Searching in CINAHL

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Creating a Personalized EBSCOhost 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.  See a video tutorial of keyword searching 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 of subject heading searching 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, Academic Journals, etc.  Click the Show More link (located underneath Publication Date) 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 of an article is unavailable from the UToledo Libraries, you may request it using Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad). 

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. 

Prior to using ILLiad, you must first register for an account

Learn more about using ILLiad on the Interlibrary Loan LibGuide.  

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.