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Copyright and Ivy Tech Community College: About CINAHL

Guide to Using CINAHL

  1. CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), as the name implies, is largely an index of articles although there are some full-text articles included.
  2. Usually when you use CINAHL, you will need to go elsewhere to find the actual articles.
  3. CINAHL is one of our EBSCO databases. On the library's web site, click on Search & Find >> Articles. Select EBSCOhost.
  4. At the EBSCOhost page, scroll down and click on CINAHL.
  5. Enter your topic in the first search box. If you do not make a selection from the Select a Field drop-down menu, you will be searching all fields.  You may also want to try selecting one of the Subject Heading fields from the drop down menu to search only in the subject headings assigned to the article.
  6. To limit your search to nursing periodicals, enter


    in the second search box.  Click on the drop down menu button next to the search box and select SO Publication Name.  This will limit your search to journals with some form of "nurs" in the title (nurse, nurses, nursing, etc.).  Keep in mind that this is only an option.  There may be other relevant publications that do not have some form of "nurs" in the title. 
  7. Put a check in the box for Ivy Tech Nursing Journals. This will limit your search to nursing journals available here -- either in print or in a database.
  8. Make other selections as needed. For example, if you need peer reviewed articles, put a check in the Peer Reviewed box.  This will limit your search to peer reviewed articles.  If you need research-based articles, put a check in the Research Article box. This will limit your search to articles based on research. Keep in mind that not all peer reviewed articles are researched-based.  You may still need to check the articles against the criteria set by your instructor to be sure all the required elements are present.  (To see how to set up a search in CINAHL, click on CINAHL Sample Search Screen below.)
  9. Finally, click on Search.
    The results will be organized with the most recent articles first.
  10. To obtain the full-text of the articles cited on your CINAHL results list:

    • Use the "Complete List of Nursing Journals" below. Check the journal title to see if we subscribe in print or in a database and if we have the title for the date you need.
    • If your article is available, retrieve it -- either from a database or from the print copy.
    • If the journal containing your article is not available, copy the article citation, put your name and phone number or e-mail address on the copy, and bring it to the desk in the library. We will try our best to obtain the article for you elsewhere and we will notify you if/when it arrives.