Welcome to the CINAHL search guide. The CINAHL database is a fantastic resource for nursing students! This guide will walk you through each part of the setting up a search and navigating your results. 

Ready to get started? Click the forward arrow below. 

Accessing the Databases

Access CINAHL from the IRSC Libraries page by selecting Find eResources (Articles) on the left hand navigation links.

In the center of the page you will see a series of links. Select Databases by Subject

From here you will see a page that says Powered by LINCCWeb in the upper right hand corner.

You may be prompted to login. If so, your username is your student ID number. Your password is your birth month and date. If your birthdate is January 12, 1994, then your password would be 0112.

Accessing CINAHL

You will see a series of drop downs in the center of the page. Click the plus next to Health and Medicine. The option looks like this: 

LinccWeb Health and Medicine drop down

The first link in the list is 'CINAHL Complete (Ebsco).' Click this!

Setting Up a Search

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The top three boxes in the search are where you place your keywords: 

Search boxes

Place your keywords, one keyword on each line, in the boxes. 

Setting Up a Search

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Here's a complete list of the limiters you should select: 

  • Full Text- retrieve the full-text of the article
  • Published Date- article will be published within a specific date range. For nursing use last five years.
  • Peer-Reviewed- results will be from publications that use peer-review prior to publishing articles in the publication
  • Research Article- helps limit results to research articles (still requires you to check that they are original research)
  • Any Author is Nurse- guarantees that one of the authors is a nurse. 
  • Journal Subset- select Nursing and Core Nursing articles will come from journals focused on nursing.
  • Geographic Subset- select USA. This helps narrow the journal focus to the US. 

Once you select these and have input your keywords, select the search button at the top or bottom of the page. 

Understanding Your Results

To understand your search results, the page has three distinct areas. At the top of the page is the same search boxes you saw on the search page. 

Directly below the boxes at the left of the page, you will see 'Refine Results'. From here you can add or remove limiters you have used in your search. You can also refine by subject, publication, age, geography, and others. 

In the center of the page, to the right of your options to refine your search are your results. You will see the number of results above your results. To read your results, check out the image below: 

Image with arrows explaining the article record. Title of article is the blue highlighted hyperlink at the top of the record. Directly below the hyperlink is author and publication information. At the end of the record, is the blue hyperlinked PDF Full Text option.

(select the image to enlarge) 

Find an article you like and select the PDF Full-Text option. 

Knowledge Check

What limiter guarantees that your article will be within the last five years? 


When limiting your results, adding what limiter makes helps guarantee that you will get articles with a nursing focus? 

Using CINAHL Tools After Selecting the Article

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Emailing an Article 

On the right hand side of the article you will see a variety of tools you can use in CINAHL. If you are required to email your professor your article, select the icon that looks like an envelope and arrow. (Pictured below) 

Email icon (white envelope with a blue arrow)

You'll notice that the email form requires that you put in an email in the "Email to" line. You may also include information in "Subject", and "Comments." It also automatically includes the PDF as an attachment if that format is available. 

(See image of form below)

image of email form as described in guide

Using CINAHL Tools After Selecting the Article

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Printing an Article

To print an article from the PDF viewer, use the print icon in the upper right hand corner of the PDF viewer (in the dark bar across the page). There are three icons in that corner. The first icon allows you to rotate the page, the second allows you to download the PDF article, and the third allows you to print the PDF article. 

For an example of the icons, see below: 

Image of the icons for the PDF Full Text viewer in CINAHL

(Click to enlarge icons)

Using CINAHL Tools After Selecting the Article

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Verifying the Location of Publication

You must verify whether your journal article is from an American nursing journal. To do so, from the full text of the article, select 'Detailed Record' in the upper left hand corner under the EBSCOhost logo. 

You will see the article title in the center of the page, followed by detailed information about the article. An example detailed record is below: Detailed record of article selected in search. First line- title; Second line- authors; Third through eighth lines- author affiliations; Ninth Line- Source Information, hyperlinked

(Click to enlarge image)

Select the hyperlinked text next to 'Source'. This will take you to the publisher's information, including the country of origin. 



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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