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NUR406 : Contemporary Nursing Trends and Theory

What is EBP?

Evidence-Based Practice, or evidence-based nursing practice, uses the most valid research to inform clinical decision making.

Helpful hint: If you're searching for the name of a specific theory, but can't find an example of EBP that directly mentions the theory, try brainstorming a bit. What are some more general concepts that describe the heart of the theory? How can you make the connection between an EBP article and the theory, even if the authors don't explicitly mention the theory by name? Try searching on more general words than the exact name of the theory if you can't find an article.

For example: instead of "novice to expert theory," try

new graduates AND learn*


novice nurse* AND professional development

Searching for Articles

Set up your search in CINAHL by brainstorming keywords to describe your theory as well as the area of practice that you wish to research.

Put the keywords that describe the theory in one search row, and the keywords describing the area of practice in another.

Use multiple synonyms to describe the same concept in order to find the most results possible. Put synonyms or related terms in the same row and type OR in between them:

search for EBP articles in CINAHL

How to Limit to EBP in CINAHL

When your instructor asks for an example of evidence-based practice, it can be tricky to know whether or not a certain article will fit the bill. CINAHL gives you a way to limit your search results to only evidence-based practice. On the advanced search screen, or by clicking Show More under Limit To on the left-hand side of your results screen, select the checkbox for evidence-based practice:

Limit to EBP in CINAHL using the checkbox under Advanced Search options

Note that this is a very specific search. If you click on the Evidence-Based Practice checkbox, CINAHL will only limit to a few types of articles, including systematic reviews, clinical trials, and other types of documents that it classifies as EBP. Quite often, this will take your results down to very few or even zero articles.

If you try the EBP checkbox and don't get enough results, you might find it more helpful to limit your search to research articles. See the Research Article checkbox above the one for EBP? This is a broader search option and will limit your search to primary research studies. Check with your instructor that you can use a Research Article as an example of Evidence-Based Practice.