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Tools for Nurses

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

Check this comprehensive resource center for the latest and most credible information about COVID-19:

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:

PharmGuide is a collection of many good resources about drugs.

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. From Advanced Search mode, type in keywords related to your topic, then limit to ‘Primary Source’ to retrieve articles with the actual instrument that include the instrument.  Otherwise results will include articles about instruments but not necessarily the instruments themselves. 
  • 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 two publication types: Questionnaire/Scale (here there is an actual questionnaire/scale in the item) and Research Instrument (here the paper is a summary description of the specific 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. Another option is to search the Advanced mode by typing your topic in the first box and limiting to 'SU Subject', then type in the second box test* or scale* or questionnaire* or survey* or measure* and limiting to 'AB Abstract'.
  • 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
  • Educational Testing Service: is a database of more than 25,000 tests and other measurement devices and many of these tests can be purchased online.
  • 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 (author or publisher) 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 and APA Finding Information about Psychological Tests.


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

AUB Libraries subscribes to EndNote citation management tool. Visit the complete SML ABC guide on how to manage your references from the most important Medical, Nursing, and Public Health databases using Endnote Web & Endnote Client.

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

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

Things you can do:

  • Nursing+ allows you to register to create e-mail alerts by specific nursing sub-specialty to receive the latest evidence-based nursing information relevant to your work.

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

Open Access@SML: 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 Charges (APC):

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

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) covers over 10,000 quality open access peer-reviewed academic journals.

Beware of open access predatory journals these are fake/scam open access journals requesting payment without providing robust editorial or publishing services; see the Beal's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers, also check the five point plan on how to avoid predatory journals by Jocalyn Clark..

Paul M. Blobaum "Blobaum’s Checklist for Review of Journal Quality for Submission of Scholarly Manuscripts", 2013.

Think, Check, Submit is a tool to help you make informed decisions on where to publish, helps researchers evaluate journals prior to submitting their work for publication. With so many publications, how can one trust a particular journal? Follow this check list to verify if you have chosen a trusted journal for publishing your research.  An interesting and alarming issue is the peer-review fraud from New England Journal of Medicine.

NOTE: Any author with an NIH grant submits his/her article to PubMedCentral (PMC) and it will appear in PubMed, irrespective in which journal it was published in. That is how some predatory publishers are advertising that they 'are indexed in PubMed'. Only journals that have a note in NLM 'Indexed for Medline' are the journals selected and evaluated by the NLM Committee.

Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison has a very nice table (Table 10) showing 13 characteristics of potential predatory journals. 

What to do if you have submitted an article to a predatory journal before you realized it is predatory?

Try to withdraw the article.  If you do not succeed, look at 'instructions to authors' to see if you have transferred the copyright to the publisher or not.  If copyright is with you as an author, you are free to publish that same article in a reputable journal but explain to the editor what has happened to you with the predatory journal.  Editors of reputable journals are fully aware of what is happening and how predatory journals work.  You might have a chance to publish your article in the reputable journal!

Still need more information, then read Tennessee University guide "Is this publisher reputable?" also read Chrissy Prator "8 ways to identify a questionable open access journal" and "Spotting a Predatory Publisher in 10 Easy Steps" and "Predatory Journals Are Such a Big Problem It’s Not Even Funny".

One final point to mention: remember you can never be 100% sure...



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:

  • SML Research Guide available 24/7
  • Live classes tailored to the specific needs of the attendees
  • Walk-in, call ext. 5900/5904/ 5911/5916/5917
  • e-mail your question
  • Request one-to-one consultation
  • Request guidance/support when doing a systematic review
  • Get consultation about where to publish your article, and many here