Skip to Main Content

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

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


PubMed is made available from the National Library of Medicine and includes the MEDLINE index of biomedical and health sciences literature, including nursing.  It provides over 30 million citations to journal articles.  

Although PubMed is a free database, always be sure to access it via the designated PubMed @ UToledo link (on or off-campus) which will allow you to connect to full-text articles from online journals subscribed to by the UToledo Libraries.  

VIDEO TUTORIAL from National Library of Medicine: Use MeSH to Build a Better PubMed Query

VIDEO TUTORIAL from National Library of Medicine: Saving Searches and Creating Alerts

Step 1: Access PubMed @ UToledo

Click here to access PubMed on or off-campus, and to gain access to full-text articles available through the UToledo Libraries.  

Step 2: Perform Your Search

PubMed provides several options for searching.  The two most common search methods to find articles on a topic are 1) keyword and 2) subject heading (MeSH) searching.  

Keyword searching is a recommended way to begin your search.  New articles (epub/ahead-of-print) that have not yet been indexed with subject headings can only be found by doing a keyword search.  Therefore, keyword searching is essential to ensure a comprehensive search.  PubMed will retrieve articles based on the keywords that you entered, and will also "map" those keywords to the relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).  View a video tutorial here.    

Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) searching is a targeted way to search PubMed and will retrieve articles indexed in MEDLINE. MeSH is a controlled vocabulary.  It functions much like a thesaurus, so if there is more than one way of describing a topic, the MeSH term will take all those varieties into consideration (i.e. the MeSH term Myocardial Infarction will find articles that use the term heart attack).  View a video tutorial here

Clinical Queries searching. In addition to keyword and subject heading searching, PubMed also offers a specialized Clinical Queries search tool to find high quality evidence, including systematic reviews and individual research studies according to clinical study category (etiology, therapy, diagnosis, prognosis).  To conduct a clinical queries search, click the Clinical Queries link under PubMed Tools on the homepage.  

Step 3: Refine Your Search

After your retrieve your search results, various limits and filters to narrow down your results will appear on the left and right side of the page, including Publication Dates, Article Types, Nursing Journals, and more.  To view additional options for filtering your results, click the Show Additional Filters option on the left side of the page.  

Step 4: Obtain Full-Text Articles

Click the  link to connect to the full-text of an article from the UToledo Libraries.  

If the full-text is not available from UToledo, you can submit an interlibrary loan request (see below)

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, PubMed 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 Advanced link located above your search results.