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University of Portland Clark Library

NRS 208: Transition into Professional Nursing: Special Research Tips

Slides from the Library Session

Creating an Effective Search Strategy

  1. Start by writing a short description of your topic, such as:

    How professional identity contributes to nursing professionalism

  2. Next, identify the key concepts of your topic, and brainstorm alternate terms. Search CINAHL to see the search terms that are associated with articles.

    For example: Professionalism, Identity, Role, Self-Concept

  3. Use the asterisk (*) to find different variations of search terms:

    Profession* will find: Profession, Professional, Professionalism...

    Nurs* will find: Nurse, Nurses, Nursing

  4. Break up phrases with AND:

    Profession* AND Nurs* (instead of nursing professionalism)

  5. Use OR to indicate alternative terms and synonyms. This is one example of a starting search strategy:

    (Identity OR Role) AND Profession* AND Nurs*

Put it All Together

CINAHL search boxes demonstrating search for (Identity OR Role) AND profession* AND nurs*

Put each concept of your search into a separate search box (this will find articles that include all of your concepts).

In each search box, enter all the terms you brainstormed for that concept. Enter OR between each search term to find articles that include any of those terms. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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