Nursing Learning Community

The librarian for this class is  Ms. Bonnie Chojnacki.

Some of the databases listed on this page are for University of Akron students, faculty and staff only.

Library Home Page


  • Ask a Librarian - Find information here to call or email your librarian.
  • View Your Library Record and Renew Materials - You can check on books ordered, renew books, and check if you have fines. You will need to create a "PIN" personal identification number. All library notices are sent to your email account. Check this email account often or forward it to another email account.
  • Connect to Online Resources from Home (Off-Campus) - Very important time saver! Once connected, you can access UA and OhioLINK resources from home as if you are on campus. This link does not work for Vista. There is software that must be installed to establish the VPN using Vista (instructions). Be sure to read the entire WIKI including when the Cisco Client will not work.

    If you cannot connect using the VPN and you want to connect to Cinahl from Off-Campus, you can use OhioLINK Authentication. You can use OhioLINK Authentication for Cinahl because Cinahl is an OhioLINK Resource.

Finding Background Information

Use these resources to find general and background information on your research topic. Help with writing a research paper.

  • Background Information provides an overview of your topic- -

    A Subject Encyclopedia is a good place to begin. It focuses on a particular discipline. The following are some examples of nursing encyclopedias that we have in the Science and Technology Library Reference Collection:


  • You will be given a medical topic and be asked to find an article about it in one of the above encyclopedias.
  • Note that each article has "key terms" which define main topics of the article.
  • Note that the end of each article contains a bibliography for further information. You will be asked to find some of the resources listed in the bibliography of your article.



  • A Library catalog contains a list of materials owned by the library including -
    • Books
    • Periodicals (called "periodicals" since they are published over a period of time. Examples: newspapers, magazines, professional journals). Periodicals may be in bound form on the shelves (they look like books), unbound in the "Current Periodicals Room" (across from the circulation desk), or in electronic form (link to it online).
    • Government Documents
    • Electronic Resources

    A library catalog does NOT LIST ARTICLES found in periodicals (journals or magazines). You must find the title of the periodical, and check to see if we have a subscription to the journal at the time the article was published.

    • University of Akron's (UA)Libraries Catalog (ZipLINK). This is the first catalog to search when looking for materials.
    • OhioLINK Central Catalog: a statewide library and information network which allows sharing of library resources among dozens of Ohio colleges and universities. This is the second catalog to search when the University of Akron's (UA) Libraries Catalog does not have what you need. You can request available materials online through OhioLINK and pick them up in about 3 to 5 working days.

    • Search UA Libraries Catalog by Title, Author, Author/Title, Subject, Keyword (Word), and others such as call number.

      • Subject Searching: finds materials about a particular topic. They are usually based on subject headings that are standard terms assigned by indexers, librarians, or authors.

      • Keyword Searching: allows you to search anywhere in the catalog's list of records for the words you enter. It will search titles, authors, subject headings, and more.

      • Boolean Searching

        • "And" narrows your search results since all terms must describe the results: obesity and "heart disease"
        • "Or" broadens your search since either term may describe the results: obesity or "heart disease"

        • See Another Example

        To understand the difference between Keyword (WORD) and Subject searching enter:

        • Human Anatomy as a WORD search

        Type "Human Anatomy" with the quotes

        See the
        • Title List
        • Number of Records Found (over 400)

        Type Human Anatomy without the quotes

        See the
        • Title List
        • Number of Records Found (over 800)

        NOTE - Searching exact phrases in a WORD search:

        • If you put quotes around the phrase (i.e. "Human Anatomy"), it searches on the exact phrase. However, it does not use relevancy ranking.
        • If you do not put quotes around the phrase (i.e. Human Anatomy), the system will use relevancy ranking. However, the record does not have to contain the exact phrase to be part of the result set. When sorting by relevancy, records that contain the exact phrase will be higher on the list than those that do not.

        See the
        • Links from Title to Full Record
        • Subjects in Full Record

        • Human Anatomy as a SUBJECT search

        See the
        • Title List (2 subjects related to "Human Anatomy," as well as 35 subjects that contain the phrase.)
        • Number of Records Found by clicking on "Human Anatomy:(Over 180. It finds only records whose Subject Heading is "Human Anatomy")

      OhioLINK can be searched the same way.

    • Interlibrary Loan (named ILLiad): Use when neither ZipLINK or OhioLINK have the materials you need. Use online order form. You will always use interlibrary loan to get journal articles not available at the University of Akron. Length of time to obtain materials varies depending on availability of material and the institution providing it.

Online Databases

A database, (sometimes called an online, electronic, or research database/index), is almost always a means of looking up information that has appeared in print elsewhere. This print resource could be a newspaper, magazine, or journal article, for example. A database is NOT simply a web site or web address. Since databases retrieve information from edited, regulated print sources, they tend to be more reliable than the information provided on many general web sites. The University pays for the databases available to students and faculty (source: UA's Information Tools for Academic Success handout, "Databases"). gives a simple definition of a database: "A collection of data arranged for ease and speed of search and retrieval." In other words, using a database should save you some time if you learn how to use it. It should also help you find the items that you want.

  • Note: Be sure that you are using the Advanced Search tab

  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text - This database covers virtually every nursing journal published.

    Use the CINAHL Headings tab to find subject terms. These subject terms describe individual concepts. They are the words that the database recognizes for certain concepts. For example, CINAHL does not recognize the word "cancer." It uses "neoplasm" for that term. Remember this if you get no results from the search terms you are using!

    Example: Find a recent article about "Aromatherapy":

    - After clicking on the CINAHL Headings tab (green menu), enter "Aromatherapy" into the search box

    - Click on Browse

    - Click on "Aromatherapy"

    - Another page displays that shows Tree Views: a list of topics related to "Aromatherapy."

    - It also lists Qualify Subheadings that can be added to your search. Do not check any at this time.

    - Click on the checkbox beside "Aromatherapy" if it is not checked and click on the Search Database button

    - View Title List - too many titles

    - Click Refine Search tab

    - Publication Year: 2003 to 2008

    - Peer Reviewed: Check

    - Journal Subset: Highlight "Nursing"

    - Language: Highlight "English"

    - Click Search - We can reduce the results set further.

    - Add "Holistic" to second search box (This was one of the key terms in the encyclopedia article.)

    - Click Search

    - See "Complementary and alternative therapies: a new frontier for nursing education?"

    - Click on "Complementary and alternative therapies: a new frontier for nursing education?"

    - A screen appears with the bibliographic information. Notice the subject terms and key words, as well as the abstract.

    - Click on PDF Full Text which leads to a link for the PDF of the article.

    - See the record titled "Creating a healing environment for critical care."

    - Click the Find it button

    - A window pops up giving you the information that our library has a subscription to the journal at the Science Library; however, we do not have a subscription for the year of this article's publication, 2003. This article would have to be ordered from Interlibrary Loan.

  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition - emphasis on nursing and allied health. Access to many full text journals as well as indexing and abstracts for over 600 journals

    Example: Find a recent example about "Aromatherapy":

    - Enter search term "Aromatherapy" in search box

    - Limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals by checking the box

    - Limit to articles published since 2003

    - Click Search

    - Results: We can reduce the results set further

    - Type "Holistic" in second search box (This was one of the key terms in the encyclopedia article.)

    - Click Search

    - See, "Alternative Therapy Applications for Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting"

    - Click on PDF and view the article.

    - See the BIBLIOGRAPHY at the end of the article

    - This will help you find MORE articles.

    - Print article (HTML: text only); (PDF: graphics included)

Tutorials & Guides