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Research Guides

Database Tutorials



For broad help with searching, finding full text, creating citations, and saving articles for later, please see the Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) page.

CINAHL is an acronym for Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. It indexes and abstracts articles from a large number of nursing, medical, and allied health journals, as well as a variety of other materials, such as health care books, nursing dissertations, standards of practice, conference proceedings and laws. Coverage is from 1982 to the present.

CINAHL is the best database for accessing the scholarly literature in Nursing and Allied Health. CINAHL with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 600 journals indexed in CINAHL. Of those, 301 are not found with full text in any version of Academic Search, Health Source, or Nursing & Allied Health Collection.

Subject Searching

Because a document's Subject Terms reflect its major points of focus, subject searching often yields more relevant results than keyword searching. There are two different approaches to conducting subject searching in these databases.

1.) From the Advanced Search screen:

CINAHL Advanced Search Screenshot

  • Click on CINAHL Headings.
  • To identify the defined Subject Term(s) for a particular concept or topic, type a search word or phrase representing that topic into the Browse box
  • Click Browse. This will display a list of Subject Terms near the term you entered.

CINAHL Subject Headings browse screenshot

  • Checkmark any terms of interest
  • Click the Add button to append them to your search, using either the Boolean AND or OR operators to conjoin the subject terms.
  • Finally, click Search to execute the new search.


2.) From the results page:

CINAHL Subject Headings from Results screenshot

  • On the left side of the page, in the list under Refine Results, if you scroll down a bit there will be options for Subject Terms
  • Click on any of these terms to narrow your results to items that have been assigned that Subject Term.
  • Alternatively, you can re-do your search by typing one or more of these Subject Terms in the search box at top and toggle the Select a Field box to "SU Subjects."


Need more help on searching with subjects? Click on the link below:

Searching Tips for Nursing


Date of publication

  • From the Advanced Search page:
    • Scroll down until you see "Limit Your Results", and then "Publication Date"
    • Type in the years you want to see results from (you can leave either of them blank)

CINAHL Date of Publication from Advanced Search

  • From the Results page:
    • On the left side of your screen, there is a "Refine Results" column
    • Scroll down a little until you see a bar with dates, with "Publication Date" in the middle
    • Click and drag the bar until you see the dates you'd like to use, or type in the number in the box.

CINAHL Date of Publication from Results




Nursing Literature

  • Everything in CINAHL will be from a Nursing journal or publication
  • HOWEVER - if your professor requires that one of the authors is a nurse, there are a couple boxes you can check in the Advanced Search screen:

CINAHL Author is a Nurse from Advanced Search

  • Note: You MUST do this from the Advanced Search page! There is no "Author is a Nurse" option on the results page!




Age of Population

  • From the Advanced Search:
    • Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Search Options, there will be options called "Age" - this describes the age of the population in the article
    • Select which age group you'd like by clicking on it
    • Note: if you want to select more than one of these option, simply hold down Ctrl (or Command  ) and click on all the options you would like.

CINAHL Age from Advanced Search

  • From the Results Page:
    • There will be a category in the Refine Results list for Age, you will probably have to scroll down a little to see it
    • Click the word "Age" to expand the list
    • Select via the checkboxes which options you would like to see in your results (you can click multiple of these)

CINAHL Age from Results



Location of Study

  • Some American journals are published by UK publishers, and vice versa. The locations you see in the detail records or results lists are related to the publisher location, not where the research took place.
  • You will need to look at the methods section of the research article to determine where the study took place (population studied). Another clue is to see where the researchers are from.
  • DON’T use location/geographic limiters – they don’t work!​
  • When in doubt - check with your professor!