Research in nursing is far more involved than the academic research you did before starting nursing school.

Start …

by learning about your topic. Your textbook can help with this, but so can StatRef, an ideal resource for investigating medical topics.

Analyze …

your topic. The time you spend here creates your search terms and greatly enhances the effectiveness of your search. Often in nursing, your research topics can be expressed as a condition or disease and a population. You need to brainstorm synonymous terms for these two concepts. After all, you cannot know for certain what terms the authors of the best articles on your topic will use.
For example …

… in addition to pregnant, you might use these terms to refer to women who are in this condition:

  • maternity
  • pregnancy
  • gestational
  • preterm
  • obstetrics
  • perinatal
  • prenatal
  • antenatal
  • prepartum
  • antepartum

Occasionally, the condition defines the population. For example, preeclampsia only happens in pregnancy. Therefore, preeclampsia searches never need to include the population of “pregnant women” using terms like the above.

…. if your topic is children, you might use one or more of these terms:

  • juvenile
  • newborn
  • toddler
  • youth
  • Hint: OR requires the search engine to return results with at least one of the search terms:
    • baby OR babies
    • child OR children
  • Hint: The asterisk is a “wildcard,” adding all possible endings to the initial letters:
    • adolescen∗
    • infan∗
    • neonat∗
    • pediatr∗
    • preschool∗
    • teen∗
  • Hint: quotation marks require the search engine to keep multiple words together as a phrase:
    • “school age”
    • “young adult”
Last update: Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 09:33