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Use this guide as a starting point for your research in nursing.


Welcome to the library guide for Nursing. Use the tabs to navigate to different pages. If you have any questions, let me know. I'm happy to help!

Get an Overview

Although subject specific databases will likely be best for your topic, it can be helpful to get sense of what is available on your topic before you dive into deep research. Try searching CLICsearch, which searches many databases at the same time, to see a variety of resources on your topic.


Get Background Information

Before diving into in-depth research, it's helpful to get background information on your topic or to find definitions. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are good places to start. They offer reliable background information and can also help you find a research topic. Use the following databases to find background information on your topic.

Narrow Your Topic

When deciding on a topic to research, it is often necessary to brainstorm aspects of your topic before you start searching. You don't want a topic that is broad or too big, which will give you too many results when you search. You also don't want a topic that is too narrow or too small, which will make it hard to find resources.

Before you start researching, as yourself these questions. Use the answers to help you narrow your topic into something more specific. You don't have to come up with long sentences for each question. Short, specific phrases are fine.

WHO is interested in your topic? WHO cares about this topic? (Be specific! Pick a specific population or group of people, i.e. doctors, women, etc.)

WHAT is interesting about your topic? WHAT are some other aspects? WHAT do you want to learn? WHAT questions do you have?

WHERE in the world do you want to focus? (Again, be specific! Pick a country, state, or city.)

WHEN is or was your topic relevant?

WHY is your topic important?

Brainstorm Keywords

Before you start searching for articles, it's important to spend time brainstorming keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases we use when searching. Watch this video for more information on keywords and creating a search strategy.

Video courtesy of Brock University Library