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Tools for Nurses: Home

The aim of this module is to collect, in one place, the resources/tools that nurses use quite often.

Tools for Nurses

Below Evidence-Based Nursing resources may be searched to locate the evidence for a particular clinical topic:

For more information check Patient safety and quality: an evidence-based handbook for nurses

Practice Guidelines: are systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific clinical circumstances, can be searched through below:

In addition, you may search CINAHL for a particular topic, then select 'practice guidelines' from the 'publication types' limit.

Below resources can be used to locate articles talking about a particular nursing topic:

  • CINAHL: resource that indexes articles, book chapters, thesis in the fields of nursing and allied health literature
  • Medline: specialized medical index to articles in medicine and nursing
  • Clinical Key for Nursing: indexes nursing articles, books, drug information, patient education, guidelines...
  • PubMed: specialized resource that indexes articles in medicine and nursing, similar content to Medline; learn more through PubMed tutorial for Nurses.
  • ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Resource: an index to journal articles, dissertations, videos etc... in nursing and allied health fields.
  • Global Index Medicus: WHO database that indexes articles in all health topics
  • POPLINE: specialized resource for reproductive health specifically in developing countries
  • PSYCInfo: for psychology topics
  • Scopus or Web of Science: these tools offer a different way of searching by looking up who cited a particular item/author.

In addition, many more resources are available @ AUB Libraries or @ SML that can help you find more articles/books for your topic of interest.

Still need more help, simply contact us

Protocols are detailed written set of instructions that guide the care of a patient or assist the nurse in the performance of a specific procedure:

See also the next module "Change Your Practice" for updates on nursing skills that have changed significantly in the latest months.

The below resources give information about a particular drug:

Whereas the below sites provide articles talking about a particular drug:

For Drug interactions:

For Drug Toxicity:

For Pill Identifiers:

SML subscribes to the below e-journals in the field of evidence-based nursing:

To check for the availability of a particular nursing journal, you may either browse the list of Nursing Journals @AUB  OR

check the availability of a particular journal by searching AUB Libraries Journal Collection.

Health research instruments as defined by HAPI are questionnaires, psychological tests, health status indicators, genetic test, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/manuals, inventories, rating scales, projective techniques, and vignettes/scenarios.

Resources/guidelines to help you locate health research instruments:

  • HAPI: is a specialized test and measurement database. To search it, type in keywords related to your topic.
  • PsycTESTS: a database of test development/assessment contains downloadable copies of tests whenever they are available. Provides information about reliability, validity, permissions of use, where the test was originally developed etc...
  • PubMed: type in keywords related to your topic then AND with search terms such as survey or questionnaire or instrument or measure or assessment or scale.
  • PsycInfo: type in keywords related to your topic then AND with search terms such as survey or questionnaire or instrument or measure or assessment or scale OR from top menu under "Indexes", then under browse an index select "Tests and Measures" and follow screen directions from there...
  • CINAHL: limit your search to the publication types: Questionnaire/Scale, Research Instrument. There are also CINAHL headings such as 'Research Instruments', 'Instrument Validation', 'Instrument Construction' and 'Instrument Scaling'. From Advanced search, one of the options is the field 'IN Instrumentation' which is used to search for instruments by typing one word of the instrument name.
  • National Guideline Measures Clearinghouse: a resource for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets.
  • PROQOLID Mapi Research Trust
  • Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC)
  • Handbook of clinical rating scales and assessment in psychiatry and mental health
  • Proquest Dissertations and Theses: sometimes these contain the instrument used published in an appendix
  • Clinical Key Nursing Scales section: lists a number of scales

In addition, the below are hard-copy books available at Jafet Library:

  • Measures for clinical practice and research: a sourcebook
  • Positive psychological assessment: a handbook of models and measures
  • Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes
  • Inventories, questionnaires and surveys for training and development
  • Measures of social psychological attitudes
  • Handbook of family measurement techniques
  • Handbook of tests and measurement in education and the social sciences
  • Sourcebook of nonverbal measures
  • Measuring health: a review of quality of life measurement scales

One tip is to search for articles that mention that they developed or validated a questionnaire as you don't want articles that used a method but those that describe a developed method. So in Medline, AND your topic with: (questionnaire* adj10 (develop* OR validat* OR new OR descri*))

Searching for an instrument takes time as they may be published in a book, article, dissertation, websites, and may be only available by contacting person who developed it, who may or may not respond to your request.  Few journal articles make the full-text of the instrument available as an appendix.

If you want to publish the actual instrument or use the instrument in your research, you should contact the copyright holder to obtain permission to use it yourself even if the instrument was available for free - but if you are only going to write about it, then no need for copyright permission.

For more information see the Washington University Libguide on measurement tools


Videos for physical examination:

Other multimedia tools:

Qualitative research seeks to understand and interpret personal experiences, behaviours, interactions, and social contexts to explain the phenomena of interest, such as the attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives of patients and clinicians; the interpersonal nature of caregiver and patient relationships; the illness experience; or the impact of human suffering (Wong et al, 2004).

Tools to help find Qualitative Research Articles:

  • Health Services Research: from PubMed, type in topic keywords then select category such as "qualitative research".
  • PubMed: use the MeSHes "qualitative research" and "nursing methodology research" AND them with the topic keywords.
  • CINAHL: use subjects like "qualitative studies" or "phenomenological research" and "grounded theory".  Also at the bottom of CINAHL page select "qualitative best" as a "clinical query".

Search filters for qualitative research:

For more information:

Citation Analysis Tools cover a wide range of the international scientific literature including medicine and medical sciences.  These can be used either as a search engine to retrieve articles about a particular topic or to locate where, when and how many times a particular author/citation was cited in the scholarly literature:

  • Scopus: covers around 21,000 peer reviewed journals
  • Web of Science: covers over 20,660 peer reviewed journals in addition to books, patents and conference proceedings


Citation Management Tools: AUB Libraries subscribe to below two citation management tools that require free registration at the start:

Other similar tools are available on the Internet for free to all users such as:

Visit the SML ABC guide on how to manage your references from the most important Medical, Nursing, and Public Health databases using Refworks, Endnote Web & Endnote Client.


Contact us for more information on how to best search these resources.

SML Librarian can help you stay up-to-date by receiving automatic email alerts in any of the below:

  • particular journal(s)
  • particular topic of interest
  • alerts to see who have cited one of your paper(s)
  • alerts about recent EBM documents in your specialty
  • medicines and prescribing awareness alerts

If you are interested in any of the above, contact us.

Open Access@SML

Open access is a relatively new model of publishing that has emerged in the past two decades and is growing rapidly.  Here the author pays the publisher an "Author Processing Charge" (APC) so that the document is freely available as full-text to everyone. This has some advantages but there are some precautions that are mentioned below.

SML encourages publishing as open access and currently is a member of below open access publishers.  As a result, any AUB member who wishes to publish with these will be entitled to below designated discount on the Article Processing Charge/Fee:

No-fee open access journals from all specialties may be used if you are in short of money for the article processing fee.

Beware of Predatory Publishers/Journals

"Predatory Publishers" or "Predatory Journals" publish fake, deceptive and scam open access publications that request payments from the author(s) without providing robust editorial or true scholarly publishing services. 

Common features to help you identify predatory publishers/journals: predatory publishers usually provide very fast peer review and a remarkable short time from acceptance to publication; the peer review is of very low quality and some documents are accepted without peer review.  Publishers may falsely claim that their journal is indexed in reputable databases like PubMed &/or claim the journal has an Impact Factor.  They usually have poorly maintained websites and may falsely claim that highly respected professionals to be on their editorial board &/or peer reviewers.

All of the above can easily confuse authors; so we urge you to contact us BEFORE submitting your manuscript OR if you want to check for yourself the below may guide you:

Still need more information?  Read Tennessee University guide "Is this publisher reputable?" also read Chrissy Prator "8 ways to identify a questionable open access journal"




Ten Strategies to Boost Your Research Impact:

  1. Create your unique researcher identifier and profile under which you gather all your publications to facilitate their findings and enhance visibility in the research community, to remove author ambiguity (due to variations in spellings), and to ensure your work is correctly attributed to you. Example Open Researcher Contributor ID ORCID
  2. Be consistent in writing your name, your institutional and departmental address and do not use abbreviations.
  3. List your email correctly and open it frequently.
  4. Publish in Journals that have at least one of these:
  • Impact Factor
  • Open Access (choose journal wisely and beware of predatory ones, read the section on 'Open Access')
  • Indexed in many International databases.

               for more information see Blobaum's checklist for submission of scholarly manuscripts

  1. Check ScopusPubMed or Web of Science to see if all your citations have correct author and affiliation address. If there are mistakes, contact us to help you correct them.
  2. Create your own researcher profile in a professional web-page and keep it up-to-date.
  3. Join academic social networking sites ex. AcademiaLinkedInResearchGateMendeleyCiteULike
  4. Participate in a professional listserv in your specialized area.
  5. Retain your right to place a copy of your publication @AUB Institutional Repository.
  6. Too much to remember? Ask US, we are here to help you!

If you are a nurse and you want to guide your patients to reliable Internet resources that are written specifically for non-healthcare professionals, the below are recommended and some provide Arabic translations like the first one:

SML Librarians are professional people that are knowledgeable and available to help/support your information needs, so do not hesitate to ask us!

Help is available through:

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