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Nursing 204: Search Strategies in Databases

Using Advanced Search and Limiters

Using Advanced Search and limiters will improve your search results.

The instructions for CINAHL below will help you understand how to do this. 


How to Search for Articles in a Database

A database is a collection of digital articles from magazines, newspapers, academic journals and books.  To locate scholarly, peer-reviewed articles in Nursing that deal with patients in the United States, follow these instructions.

1. Select a Nursing Database, such as CINAHL.

   CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

2. Click on Advanced Search.

3. Enter your keyword search terms in each box.  Each term can be combined with the term above it. For example, 

This search will result in articles that have information about both immobility AND patient care.

4. Scroll down on the search screen to locate the necessary limiters.  

 First, limit to Any Author is a Nurse and click to check.


Next, limit to  peer-reviewed. 


From the Geographic Subset box, select USA.

Once you have finished these steps, click Search and your list of appropriate results will display.


If there are other limits you wish to use, such as age range, etc. you may select those as well.  Remember, the more limiters you use, the shorter the list of results will be. 


Most articles will have full text html or full text PDF. A PDF article is a scanned image of the article as it appears in print.  To print a PDF you must use the adobe tool bar that will appear toward the top of the page. Find the printer icon and click it. 

Sometimes you will be prompted to select the type of citation you want.  Always choose APA.


Searching CINAHL