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Nursing: Get Started

Library resources for the College of Nursing

Find a Topic

Find Ideas from

  • Class discussions or readings
  • Current events and news reports
  • Articles in journals and trade publications
  • Gaps in published research
  • Personal questions

Gain Background Information to

  • Become more familiar with the topic
  • Identify common terms and language
  • Provide context and identify differing perspectives
  • Narrow your focus on subjects within the topic
  • Identify experts related to the topic 

Form a Question

Identify the details of your topic in order to compose a question. Use the PICO form on the right for help.

Questions Example Answers Search Terms
MeSH* Keywords**
(Ex: illness, condition, age, gender, ethnicity)
hospital aquired infection cross infection nosocomial infection
(Ex: medication, diet, activity, or method)
handwashing hand disinfection   hand sanitation
Are you making a COMPARISON
(Ex: alternate treatment, medication, or method)

What is the intended OUTCOME
(Ex: health status, delayed or eliminated illness)

reduced infection see first box see first box

Clinical Question (example): Is handwashing effective in reducing hospital aquired infections?

*MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) - set of terms used in biomedical databases to "tag" the subjects contained in articles.

**Keywords - text found in articles or article titles that describe the subject; similar topics; synonyms.

Need to Know Info


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Helpful Worksheets


Career Planning

Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Laws - By State