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Nursing: Finding Journal Articles

Basic search tips and strategies for nursing students

Requesting Article Copies

Please email all article copy requests to:

Nursing Power Search
Limit Your Results

You might also try these other resources:

Requesting Article Copies Video

No full text for the articles you want? Request copies using the library's interlibrary loan service. Obtain the article copies quickly and at no charge!

Adding Databases to Your Search

Need to make changes to your database selections in EBSCO? This quick video demonstrates how easy is it to change your search.

Sample Subject Headings

  • Nursing
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Nursing ethics
  • Patient monitoring
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital care
  • Patient safety
  • Medical protocols
  • Communicable diseases

Full Text Finder

This video will walk you through searching for full text availability of journal in our library.  This can be helpful if you have a specific journal article you are looking for or if you want to browse a publication.

Click here to begin searching Full Text Finder!


MeSH--Medical Subject Headings

Why should you care? Here's why:

According to the National Library of Medicine, the standard setter in medical indexing, MeSH is their controlled vocabulary thesaurus. This thesaurus consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity. All this is a fancy way of saying that they have organized search terms in such a way as to begin with general headings, such as anatomy, and then becoming steadily more specific, narrow headings, such as embryology.  

Searching with MeSH headings quickly enables researchers to narrow their search to the most relevant results. Using the provided controlled vocabulary is helpful since MEDLINE/PubMED, as well as CINAHL, use MeSH to index journal articles from 5,400 of the leading biomedical journals.  Whether you're searching in MEDLINE and CINAHL via EBSCO or searching PubMED you will be able to use the same search terms across the various interfaces! Identifying vocabulary at the start of your search, while time consuming, will actually be helpful and time-saving when searching begins.

Fortunately, when searching MEDLINE and CINAHL in Dugan Library's EBSCO interface, they have provided easy to use tools to take advantage of searching using the MeSH headings.  If you need help navigating this service, please contact one of our librarians.  A video showing how to use the MeSH headings will be added here soon.

Search Tips

  • Experiment with a variety of keywords and subject headings
  • Use "advance search" options to limit to full text, peer review, date ranges and more
  • Selecting the correct database or combination of databases can save you time when looking for articles
  • Remember that you can get copies of articles through interlibrary loan if they're not full text in the database