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Nursing 105: Medical-Surgical Nursing: Citation Help

What is a Citation?

A citation is a reference that gives a reader information about a source. It generally includes the author, title of the work or journal, title of the article, volume and issue number and date.

Digital articles often include a DOI number, or digital object identifier. This is the permanent link to an online article.

There are several citation styles used by academics. Nurses generally use APA format. APA stands for American Psychological Association. Their standards for citation may be found in the Publication Manual of the APA. Check out the links below for more help and information about APA style.


How to Read a Citation in APA Format

Readings listed in your handouts are in citation format.  This is how to read an APA citation.

APA Citation Help

When citing articles, use APA (American Psychological Association) format. 

Librarians will help you with your citations. Go to the Information Commons Help Desks or Ask a Librarian.

Formats may be found in the APA Style manual or at the websites below.

Citations from Databases

Most of the databases will generate APA citations for you.  Locate the citation link on the page of the article you are viewing.

If you are using CINAHL or another EBSCO database, the link will look like this:

If you are using AJN: American Journal of Nursing, locate the Cite link under Tools at the right hand side of the screen.


Be sure to select, APA format, and click Copy.

Copy and paste the citation.  Make sure that only the first word of the article title is capitalized.  Also, only include the first initial of each author and eliminate credentials.

KnightCite Citation Maker

Created by the Calvin College Heckman Library, KnightCite will create a formatted citation in APA style.

Fill in all the boxes completely and correctly.

If you use an article from a database, click yes when asked if the article was found online and yes when asked if it was from a database. Then enter the name of the database.

Be sure to include the D.O.I. (Digital Object Identifier), if available.

Copy and paste the citation. Check capitalization and punctuation to make sure they are correct!