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Nursing Program Library Guide

This guide provides pointers for getting started with your research. It includes links to key library subscription resources, including article databases, journals, and books, as well as open web content. If you would like additional help with your research projects, or with learning how to use library resources, don't hesitate to contact the library.


About Tests and Measures:

Tests and measures are used in nursing for assessment and research.

Types of Tests Measures Include:

  • Questionnaires
  • Scales
  • Surveys
  • Psychological tests

Published vs. Unpublished Explained:

  • Copies of unpublished test and measures can at times be found within articles, databases, and the open web. In many cases, the author must be contacted directly.
  • Copies of published (commercially available) tests and measures are purchased from publishers, but can be identified within articles, databases, and the open web.

Key Resource - eBook:

Measurement in Nursing and Health Research, Fourth Edition by Carolyn Waltz (Editor); Ora Lea Strickland (Editor); Elizabeth Lenz (Editor). Publication Date: 2016-07-28.

"This highly popular resource written in an easy-to-read style and format-- delivers everything nurses and other health researchers need to know about designing, testing, selecting, and evaluating instruments and methods for measurement in nursing."

Tests and Measures Databases and Sources for Nursing:

CINAHL Complete (If you are off campus you will need to enter a username and password. Contact Library staff for current login information.)

An EBSCO suite database, a comprehensive source for nursing and allied health literature.

MEDLINE (If you are off campus you will need to enter a username and password. Contact Library staff for current login information.) provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Created by the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) indexing with tree, tree hierarchy, subheadings and explosion capabilities to search citations from over 5,400 current biomedical journals.

CINAHL Databases - Advanced Searching Tutorial:


Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI):

An EBSCO suite database, from the Behavioral Measurement Database Services, is a comprehensive bibliographic database providing information about behavioral measurement instruments. CPTC journal holdings are not indicated.

Additional Databases:

  • ETS Test Collection 
    A database of more than 25,000 published (commercially available) and unpublished tests. Abstract and availability information freely provided. Purchasing options available for some published tests.
  • CMS Measure Inventory Tool (CMIT)
    The repository of record for information about the measures which CMS uses to promote healthcare quality and quality improvement. From The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

How to Find Tests and Measures in the CPTC Library:

  • Identifying a test and locating a copy, are often two different steps.
  • Use a literature database like CINAHL to identify a test.
  • If a copy of the test isn't available in the literature database, try using ETS Test Collection or Tests in Print identify its source.
  • Reviews of tests might be found in literature databases, but can also be found in Tests in Print and purchased for a fee.
  • Tests and measures are also called instruments.

Statistics in Nursing

Health statistics are used to measure the health of a population or community.

Finding and Using Health Statistics | National Library of Medicine 

This course describes the range of available health statistics, identifies their sources and helps you understand how to use information about their structure as you search.

International Data & Statistics:

U.S. Data & Statistics:

Clinical Resources

Drug Information

  • Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses by April Vallerand, Cynthia Sanoski, and Judith Hopfer Deglin
    If you are off campus you will need to enter a username and password. Contact Library staff for current login information.
  • Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book)
    Identifies drug products approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) and related patent and exclusivity information.
  • DailyMed
    Contains over 80,000 drug listings as submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At the present time, this Website does not contain a complete listing of labels for approved prescription drugs.
  • Drug Information Portal
    Information available for over 60,000 drugs.
  • LactMed
    The LactMed® database contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant.
  • LiverTox
    LIVERTOX® provides up-to-date, accurate, and easily accessed information on the diagnosis, cause, frequency, patterns, and management of liver injury attributable to prescription and nonprescription medications, herbals and dietary supplements. LIVERTOX also includes a case registry that will enable scientific analysis and better characterization of the clinical patterns of liver injury.
  • MedlinePlus
    Learn about prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, and special precautions.
  • ToxLine
    Indexes journal articles biochemical, pharmacological, physiological, and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals, from the National Library of Medicine.

Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests

Lab Tests Online is an award-winning health information web resource designed to help patients and caregivers understand the many lab tests that are a vital part of medical care. The site is produced by AACC, a not-for-profit organization; proceeds from health-related advertising help support the website's mission.

Practice Guidelines: Databases & Collections

  • ECRI Guidelines Trust
    An open access database for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, from multiple organizations. Replaces AHRQ’s defunded National Guideline Clearinghouse. Registration required.
  • VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
    The guidelines on this site are those endorsed by VHA's National Clinical Practice Guidelines Council.

Finding Practice Guidelines within Other Databases

  • CINAHL Complete
    An EBSCO suite database, a comprehensive source for nursing and allied health literature. CINAHL Tip: Limit results to the publication type, "Clinical Guidelines”.
  • PubMed
    From the National Library of Medicine, comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations include links to open access content from PubMed Central. PubMed Tip: Limit results to the publication type, "Guidelines."

Patient Education

  • HealthFinder
    Consumer health information.
  • MedlinePlus
    Health information for consumers.
  • The Merk Manual
    Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written in everyday language.
  • Health Reach
    Offers easy access to quality health information in many languages that healthcare providers can share with LEP (Limited English Proficiency) individuals. HealthReach is also an important resource for health professionals and public health administrators seeking best practices and population-specific tools, such as cultural backgrounders and tips for effective use of interpreters.

Evidence-Based Practice

"Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a problem-solving approach to the delivery of health care that integrates the best evidence from studies and patient care data with clinician expertise and patient preferences and values."

-AJN 2010. Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step.

Searching for Evidence using PICO

PICO is a search strategy acronym used to formulating a strong clinical question. It can guide your search for evidence in the biomedical literature. Use a PICO worksheet to:

  • Organize your question into concepts
  • List potential search terms and searching methods, with examples
  • Create an effective search strategy

CINAHL and PubMed are good starting databases for applying PICO to a clinical query search. The databases are available from the homepage of the library. If full text of the article isn’t available directly through the database, contact the librarians for further assistance.

Evidence-Based Practice Tutorials:

Search Tips Using PICO for CINAHL:

Search Strategy Help:

  1. Step 1 Enter keywords, they represent the concepts of your search topic. Use "and" and "or" to connect concepts.
  2. Step 2 Check the "apply related words" checkbox, to search on subject terms related to the keywords entered in the search box.
  3. Step 3 Select needed limits. Consider, "full text" and "peer reviewed."
  4. Step 4 Click search.
  5. Step 5 Review your results and revise as needed.


  • Using the "full text" limit will remove articles that may be essential in clinical queries.
  • Removing limits broaden a search. Adding limits narrows a search.
  • Use the "AND" and "OR" options to nest concepts as needed.
  • Use the search history link to keep track of previous searches.
  • Consider using the "suggest subject terms" checkbox, when you're having trouble finding what you need, and when comprehensive searching of a topic is needed.

Intro: PubMed, which encompasses MEDLINE, is the key biomedical literature database from the National Library of Medicine. It is an open access database. Use PubMed's limits and MESH terms for the best searching results. 


PubMed visual instructions. Step by step text instructions are located below this image.


Step 1

Enter keywords, the represent the concepts of your search topic. Be as specific as possible.

Step 2

Select needed limits. Include date and availability.

Step 3

Click search.

Step 4

Review your results. Check journal availability in the library's "Find a Journal" database.


Additional tips:

 - Using the full text limit removes articles that may be essential in clinical queries.

 - Use the "Find a Journal" database to see if the library offers the needed journal in full text.

 - Use interlibrary loan for articles the library doesn't offer in full text. Don't pay to view articles.

 - Removing limits broaden a search. Adding limits narrows a search.

 - Check the "Titles with your Search Terms" box for related articles.