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Nursing: Find Articles Written by a Nurse

A guide to online and print resources in nursing & nurse anesthesia.

How to Find Articles Written by a Nurse

There are several ways to locate articles written by nurses in CINAHL Complete.

1.  CINAHL Complete offers two limiters called "First Aurthor is Nurse" and "Any Author is Nurse". This option narrows search results to articles written from 2009 onwards by authors with RN, BSN, MSN or equivalent foreign credential.  These limiters are found on the main search page under "Search Options".

2.  To locate pre-2009 articles written by a nurse, select the Field Code option "AF Author Affiliation", located in the drop-down box to the right of the main search box on the CINAHL Complete search page. This restricts a search to an author's institution--where the author works, assuming this information has been included in the article. For example, enter "nursing" in the search box and select the field "AF Author Affiliation" from the drop-down "Select a Field" menu.  Your results will include articles written by authors affiliated with an institution that has the word "nursing" in the title, such as "College of Nursing" or "School of Nursing". 

3.  Search by nursing qualification in the "AF Author Affiliation" field. This allows you to search for such qualifications as "DNP", "CRNA", or "FNP". For example in the main search box, enter "FNP" with the "AF Author Affiliation" field specified will return articles with an author who is a family nurse practitioner.

4.  Use the "SO Publication Name" field to restrict search results to journals with the word "nursing" in the title of the journal, such as Journal of Advanced Nursing.  You can increase your search results by entering "nurs*" in the search box instead of "nursing".  The asterisk (*) is a useful technique called truncation, and searching on this term results in journals with nurs in the title, including the word nursing, nurse or nurses.  This technique may also be used when using the "AF Author Affiliation field code.

5.  Use the "Nursing" limiter found in the Journal Subset drop-down box on the "Search Options" page. This restricts search results to journals with a nursing focus. 

NOTE:  Options 2-5 above will limit search results to articles more likely to have a nurse as author, however, you should carefully examine an article to check whether or not there are nursing credentials listed for the author, such as Cindy Smith RN, MSN. 

If you are not finding enough articles, broaden your search topic by eliminating a search term of lesser importance.