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NURS 344, Nursing Research: Welcome


Feel free to contact the librarians with any questions! We can help with things like:

  • Getting the full text of an article
  • Brainstorming search terms and limiters
  • Citations and bibliographies
  • Finding questionnaires and instruments 
  • Finding books, ebooks, and reference sources

Email us: 

Nursing pages on the library website

Search Tips

1. More precise searches give you more precise results - Use the Advanced Search screen to combine two or three keywords


2. Explore the filters and limiters available


3. Subject headings are your friend - They standardize all possible terms for a topic


Sample Boolean searches

To conduct a comprehensive search in a database, you should use the terms recognized by the database. These include subject headings (which standardize all the possible terms for a topic) and keywords (rather than complete sentences.) Find the keywords in your research question, then combine them with AND, OR, and NOT.

Use AND to join multiple concepts in your search. Use OR to combine similar terms for the same concept. Use NOT to exclude a concept, but we do not usually recommend using NOT.


(NICU OR "neonatal intensive care unit") AND feeding 


("medication adherence" OR "patient compliance" OR adheren* OR non-adheren* OR nonadheren* OR non-complian* OR noncomplian*)


(drug* OR medicat* OR pill*)


(technology OR alarm OR device OR digital OR electronic OR monitor OR remind OR remote)


"End of life care" AND family AND decision


Prevention AND "pelvic pain" AND pregnancy

Finding Instruments

Finding research instruments like questionnaires, tests, and scales can be challenging. Many of them are proprietary and must be requested from publishers. Some cost money to use. 

Here are some strategies for finding instruments:

  • Instruments are sometimes reprinted in research articles. They are usually appended at the end of the article. As you research your topic, keep an eye out for articles that include instruments! If you find an article where the authors describe an instrument that you want to use, but the full instrument isn't reprinted in the article, you can email the authors to ask whether they would be willing to share it with you. 
  • In CINAHL, look at the Advanced Search screen. After you enter your search terms in the top box, scroll down to the Publication Type menu. Choose "Questionnaire/Scale" and run the search. This will find articles that used questionnaires and scales. Some of the articles will include the reprinted questinnaire/scale, and some won't. There is not a way to limit your search to only articles that contain copies of instruments. 
  • Some instruments are available for free on the Web. Here is another library's list of some places to find instruments: 

Tools from Johns Hopkins Nursing Center for Evidence-Based Practice

These tools are part of the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice (JHNEBP) model. Links to the tools are made available below for non-commercial use, with permission of Johns Hopkins, with the stipulation that the tools may not be altered nor the copyright notice on the bottom of each page removed.

Ask a Librarian

Reference desk

TLU librarians offer in-depth research help.


During library open hours, ask at the main desk for help finding what you need or help setting up an appointment with a librarian. 



Click on the Ask a Question tab on the right side of a library web page. It will bring you either to live chat, or to a place where you can leave a message. 


830-372-8100 (main desk)

Library directory (list of individual library staff and faculty)



--Interlibrary Loan--

Need an item that our library doesn't own? No worries, you can email the title, author and date of what you need to or fill out a form. We can get most (but not all) articles within 2 days and many books within 4-8 days. 

For more information, visit our interlibrary loan page.

--Using databases off-campus--

If you are using an off-campus computer, you will be prompted for your last name (Not your network username but last name only) and your 8-digit TLU number.