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Nursing at HACC

  What is Evidence-based Practice?

"Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external evidence from systematic research."

Quotation from:  Sackett, David L. et al. "Evidence Based Medicine: What it is and What it isn't."  BMJ  1996, 312: 71-72.

After you access and summarize appropriate material from the literature, you will apply it to the day-to-day clinical problems.


Nursing journals

How to search in the databases

This page from Johns Hopkins Welch Medical Library has an excellent description of using the CINAHL database.

The JH Welch Medical Library also has a description of using PubMed.

Also in PubMed, it is useful to know the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), used by professionals and researchers to describe research areas. Here is a description of how MeSH works, and you can use this database to find the appropriate MeSH heading for your topic.

Filtering using limiters

Databases have filters that can help cut out irrelevant results during your research. Try using some of these options:

Publication Types (case studies, editorials, news articles, as well as higher levels of evidence such as clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses). Limiting by publication type is one way to ensure that the research retrieved was based on a more rigorous methodology and thus reflects a higher level of evidence.

Date of publication limits can help reduce your set of results, particularly helpful when you have too many results, or you wish to retrieve only the most recent literature. Remember at HACC, many assignments and courses require that you use sources from the last five years.

"Peer-reviewed articles," "research," "evidence-based," language, and other subsets for topics may be available. Use with care, and be sure to read the description of what they mean, as they may inadvertently apply limits you don't want!

Avoid limiting to full text! HACC subscribes to several databases, many with unique search results. If you see a result from your search that doesn't have full text available, use the Find it link to see if it is available from any of our other databases. Even if it's still not available, librarians can help get you access to these sources, though keep in mind it may take a few days!

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you are unable to find the resources you need through the links on this page, HACC has several other resources you can use.

Try our other databases. Browse through our available databases grouped by research subject area to see if there is another database that may include the articles you need.

Contact a librarian. You can use this link to either chat with a librarian immediately or create a research appointment with a librarian at your campus.

Nursing Databases



Full-text scholarly and peer reviewed articles for nursing and allied health topics.

ScienceDirect College Edition

Peer-reviewed scientific studies and review articles. Major focus: science and medicine. Minor focus: social science and humanities.

Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition

Provides students, allied health professionals, nurses, and medical educators access to scholarly journals on many medical disciplines.


Comprehensive nursing and allied health portal for practice, education, research, and administration. Features access to 78 full-text journals from Wolters Kluwer.

Health & Medicine (ProQuest)

Full-text articles covering health, medicine, substance abuse, and many other health-related topics.