Health Sciences

Introduction / Getting Started

This guide contains Cardinal Stritch Library resources that will help you with your nursing research. No matter where you’re at in your studies, you can find a book, database, or website here that will give you the information you need to succeed.

Do you need help with creating a research question, finding resources, or improving your search methods? Call, chat, email, or come visit us in the library!

Which Database Should I Use?

Library databases are searchable catalogs of scholarly and popular resources. They provide information about, and often the full text of, articles from thousands of magazines, journals, and newspapers. Specialty databases will provide statistical information, audio/video recordings, and images. The databases are a great place to begin your research.

CINAHL (The Cumulative Index of Nursing & Allied Health Literature)

This database provides access to the top nursing and allied health journals. It has a wide variety of full-text resources and includes research instruments, legal cases, and clinical innovations.

Academic Search Complete

This database focuses on more general, less specialized information, but is a helpful place to begin your search and learn more about your topic. It also has a wide variety of reputable but non-scholarly sources.


This expansive database is provided through the National Library of Medicine and is one of the most comprehensive sources available, including more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature.

Brief searching guide

While you’re exploring these databases and others, keep these tips in mind to improve your searching experience.

Use Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words that connect your search terms, in order to broaden or narrow your results. Examples include AND, OR, and NOT. Use these in conjunction with your keywords to refine your searching.

Look at the Subject Headings

Use the in-database Subject terms to refine your searching and find articles directly related to your topic. You can find these terms in the database’s thesaurus or in the descriptions of articles.

Be Ready to Narrow or Expand Your Search

If you have too many results, add additional terms or narrow your search by date or source type. If you have too few results, expand your search by removing search terms or adding synonyms.