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Nursing and Allied Health: Evidence-Based Nursing: -Step 2

Online Learning


Step 2:: Evidence Acquisition

Evidence Acquisition, involves locating the highest quality, relevant literature, usually from the nursing and medical literature, to begin to answer your question.  Carefully chosen "filtered" evidence are usually systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or other overviews of the evidence. These assure that evidence is high quality and relevant. "Unfiltered" evidence such as student literature searches are based on the clinical question. While students use filters to narrow the results in the literature search process, this type of evidence is considered unfiltered.


Evidence Grading


The process of evidence acquisition and appraisal is called "Evidence Grading". Grades of evidence vary in their ability to predict the effectiveness of health practices, with higher grades of evidence more likely to reliably predict outcomes than lower grades.


Gathering Background Information


Northwestern State University of Louisiana Full Text Finder: Journal Search..Evidence Based Nursing Journals

  • Online Sources of Background Information include Wikipedia, GOOGLE, Google Scholar, EBSCO e-Books Database, Gale Virtual Reference Library Encyclopedias online, and CREDO Reference.
  • Printed sources of information can be found in Reference Books on the reference shelf, textbooks and printed encyclopedias.





  • PubMed  More than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals and online books. Citations include links to full-text content from PubMed Central, publisher web sites, open-access journals.
  • CINAHL with full text CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health) provides authoritative coverage of the literature related to nursing and allied health. More than 1600 journals are regularly indexed.


Evidence Based Sources

  • CINAHL COMPLETE with full text  In the Publication Type limit, choose Systematic Review, Meta Synthesis and Meta Analysis [hold control key to choose more than one]
  • CLINICALTRIALS.GOV   All Clinical Trial Publications meet Evidence Requirements
  • Cochrane Library   Full access to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, the Central Register of Controlled Trials and other high-level, quality Evidence-Based resources.
  • MEDLINE  In the Publication Type limit, choose Systematic Review
  • PubMed  To your search, add  AND systematic[sb] to retrieve systematic reviews, meta-analyses, reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based medicine, consensus development conferences, and guidelines
  • SCIENCE DIRECT In the Publication Type limit, choose Systematic Review, Meta Synthesis and Meta Analysis [hold control key to choose more than one]
More Sources

  • Joanna Briggs Institute  An international collaboration involving nursing, medical and allied health researchers, clinicians, academics and quality managers. 
  • The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports  Some content is open access from this resource. If you need a particular systematic review, contact the librarians for an interlibrary loan at no charge to you.ACP
  • American College of Physicians: Journal Club  Summary abstracts and comments on select original research articles and systematic reviews.
  • AHRQ  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.  AHRQ supports research that helps people make more informed decisions and improves the quality of health care services.
  • Bandolier  Independent, evidence-based health care commentaries written by Oxford UK scientists.
  • Clinical  Provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. Includes statements of a trial's purpose, participation guidelines, locations, and phone numbers for more details.
  • ECRI Guidelines Trust (content from former National Guideline Clearinghouse)  Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
  • Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement  This independent, non-profit group maintains this site which contains links to guidelines, preventive services, summary reports about clinical outcomes.
  • PsycINFO  Citations with abstracts to the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force  An independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, composed of primary care providers; USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems.

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