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Nursing Research: Evidence-based Practice Resources

A compilation of library resources that will help you find articles, books, and websites in the field of nursing with particular attention to nursing research.

Evidence-Based Practice: An Interprofessional Tutorial

An  interactive tutorial from the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Library 

Video: Evidence-Based Practice

This video provides an overview of evidence-based practice and the role of information in guiding decisions. -- Created using PowToon. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Medicine

Dr. Aaron Carroll describes evidence-based medicine and research he has done to find evidence. He also has a good description of the format of most scholarly articles

Five Step Process

The 5 "A's" will help you to remember the EBN process:

  1. ASK:  Information needs from practice are converted into focused, structured questions.
  2. ACQUIRE:  The focused questions are used as a basis for literature searching in order to identify relevant external evidence from research.
  3. APPRAISE:  The research evidence is critically appraised for validity.
  4. APPLY: The best available evidence is used alongside clinical expertise and the patient's perspective to plan care.
  5. ASSESS:  Performance is evaluated through a process of self reflection, audit, or peer assessment.


The PICO(T) question format is a consistent "formula" for developing answerable, researchable questions.

Formulate the Question


Does the use of waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer in addition to handwashing with antiseptic soap and water by all people in the neonatal intensive care unit reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections?

P = people in neonatal intensive care unit

I = use of waterless, alcohol-based solution in addition to hand washing with antiseptic soap and water

C = standard hand washing with antiseptic soap and water

O = reduced number of hospital-acquired infections


Find Keywords

Now that you have an answerable question, create a list of keywords (or terms) that you will use when searching the evidence. Use important terms or concepts from your question, patient/population, intervention, and outcome.

  • handwashing
  • hand sanitizer
  • hand hygiene
  • intensive care unit
  • ICU
  • neonatal
  • hospital acquired infection
  • cross infection

Multiple terms should be combined using the Boolean operators "AND" and "OR".

OR will expand your search because OR returns results that contain either term. Combine terms representing similar concepts with OR.

  • intensive care unit OR ICU
  • hospital acquired infection OR cross infection

AND will limit your search because AND will only return results that contain both terms. Combine terms representing different concepts with AND if you your results need to contain both concepts in a single study, article, etc.

  • handwashing AND intensive care unit
  • handwashing AND hospital acquired infection

Using both AND and OR: Tip! Most database search options separate the search boxes with AND by default. Use each search box to separate terms representing different concepts. Add terms representing similar concepts to each search box and separate with an OR.

EBP Resources

You can also search OhioLINK's Electronic Journal Center (EJC) for articles on EBP.

One of the mini tutorials on finding the evidence provided by Neal Thurley and Owen Coxall who regularly tutor on CEBM courses. It is recommended that you watch them in order.

Finding Resources in CINAHL and PubMed

CINAHL advanced search page offers several options for finding evidence-based medicine articles. Click the Advanced Search link on the main page, and then scroll down until you see some of the options on the right.

The Evidence-Based Practice box will limit your search to Evidence-Based practice articles and journals, as well as certain types of studies.

The Randomized Controlled Trials box limits to articles so identified.

The Publication Type box has several options that might be considered strong evidence, including Clinical TrialSystematic ReviewRandomized Controlled TrialEvidence-Based Practice and Meta Analysis. You can combine several of these options by holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard as you choose multiple options.


NOTE: Don't check all of these boxes or choose all these publication types at once. No articles will match ALL of these criteria. Try each of these three options in separate searches.

If you have a complicated search, consider searching the various elements in separate searches, and then combining the searches afterwards using the Search History function. Then, you can combine the searches using either the AND (all of the terms) or OR (any of the terms) functions.

REMEMBER...if you have any questions you can always contact a librarian. We/re here to help!



You can use Article Type limiters to see only specific types of articles -- Randomized Controlled Trials, Systematic Reviews, etc. If you don't see the article type you want, click the Customize link at the bottom of the list and see if that type is available.


NOTE...While not everything in it is available full-text, we can connect you to those resources listed. While not primarily a nursing database, there is a substantial amount. There is some overlap with CINAHL coverage.

British Medical Journal (BMJ) RSS feeds

This open access journal by BMJ focuses on evidence based nursing. These articles were the most frequently read in this journal from last month. Click on "Visit Website" below to link to the current issue of Evidence Based Nursing.

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Websites for Evidence-based practice