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NS-663 Biobehavioral Principles and Theories

Finding Nursing Articles in CINAHL

  1. First, search for your topic in CINAHL, which has the majority of our nursing journals and is a good place to start (if you need help searching, see the video tutorials on the CINAHL page of this guide). 
  2. When you have your results, find the column on the left that says Refine Results (if you are unhappy with the articles you get, take a look at the Search Tips page of this guide).

    CINAHL Search Image
  3. You can adjust the publication date, if you'd like. Then, click Show More to find the limit for Nursing Journals.

  4. Find the box that says Journal Subset. Choose Nursing and click Search.

Journal Subset Search

Extra Tip: On the same page where you found the Journal Subset box, look for the box that says Research Articles.

Reading Scholarly Articles

Do you know how to read an article methodically and efficiently? It's not necessary to read an article from beginning to end. Starting with the title, abstract and conclusion can help you decide if an article is worth your time. This flow chart can help you decide if you should read an article based on those sections.

Article Flow Chart

Subramanyam, R. (2013). Art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology : JOMFP, 17(1), 65–70.

What to Look for When Reading an Article


Once you have decided to read the article, there are certain details that you should look for so that you optimize your comprehension of the article. Use the questionnaire below to guide your reading and note taking.



  • Should provide a proper background for the study.

  • Is there a research hypothesis? Later determine if it was answered in the Discussion.

Materials and Methods

  • Were the procedures and equipment used for data collection appropriate?


  • Were the results reliable and valid?

  • Did any subjects drop out of the study? If yes, is an explanation given?

  • Determine which results are statistically significant and which are not.

  • Were appropriate statistical tests used?

  • Are statistically significant results also clinically significant?


  • What was the final answer to the research question?

  • How did the authors interpret the results and their analyses?

  • Did this study lead to new theories or hypotheses, and suggestions for future research?

  • What did the authors identify as the shortcomings or limitations of the study?

  • Did the authors compare/contrast their study with similar studies?

  • Note, the discussion of results is ultimately an opinion and not automatically fact.

Conclusion (Again)

  • Were the inferences that you made at the beginning correct?

  • If the conclusion didn’t make sense at first, does it make more sense after having read the entire article?

Adapted from Subramanyam, R. (2013). Art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology : JOMFP, 17(1), 65–70.

Or use a longer, more detailed questionnaire.