Getting to know the profession literature

NURS 122-3 Professional Practice II: Intro to Discipline of Nursing


This assignment will introduce you to searching for nursing literature in CINHAL. You will also learn how to limit the search to peer-reviewed articles and the difference between a peer-reviewed (or scholarly) article and other articles. The assignment is worth 10 percent of your final grade.


  • pain management
  • eating disorders
  • grief
  • palliative care
  • transcultural care (used in examples)

Recommended Reading

  • Peer Review (Wikipedia)
  • Miracle, Vickie A. “The Peer Review Process” Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing. 27(2):67-69, March/April 2008 (available on Reserve in the Library, and through CINAHL)

Assignment and Instructions

  1. Choose a topic from the list and use CINAHL to search for literature on your topic. The CINAHL database is the authoritative source of information for the professional literature of nursing, allied health, biomedicine, and healthcare.
  2. How many articles are there in CINAHL on your topic? (show me how)
  3. How many articles are peer-reviewed? (show me how)
  4. Choose one of the peer-reviewed articles. You’ll need to find the article in full-text online, in the Library or request the article on inter-library loan. Cite the article using the APA format. (show me a tip)
  5. Find an article on your topic in Nursing BC. You’ll need to find the article in full-text or in the Library (the Library has Nursing BC from 1991). Cite the article using the APA format. (show me how)
  6. Is Nursing BC peer-reviewed?
  7. Compare the two articles, the peer-reviewed article and the Nursing BC article. Your comparison should be not more than one-page long. Things you may want to consider are the authority of the author, evidence used in the article, length, intended audience, and bias (this list is not exclusive).
  8. In your own words define “peer-reviewed” and explain why you think it is important that nursing students use peer-reviewed literature (less than 200 words).

Remember to ask for help from Library staff. Keep in mind that sometimes getting to the full-text or paper copy of an article can take longer than expected!


About Karen Keiller

I am the University Librarian at Lakehead University.
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