This is the "Tips for Searching PubMed" page of the "Nursing" guide.
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Use this LibGuide as a tool for selecting quality information resources and following tips to use them effectively to enhance your knowledge and improve patient care.
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Tips for Searching PubMed Print Page

What is PubMed

Premier database for searching all aspects of clinical medicine

Journal citations with abstracts and linking to fulltext

1946 to present

Updated daily

Over 22 million records

Able to limit to Nursing subset


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Searching Tips

Search PubMed with a combination of significant words, significant phrases and MeSH, the controlled vocabulary.

Be specific in your search request.

If you have too many citations:

  • AND in more concepts
  • ATTACH a subheading to a MeSH descriptor
    • Breast Neoplasms/nu (nursing care for breast cancer)
  • LIMIT to age, language, type of article, years searched
  • Make MeSH terms major focus
    • Breast Neoplasms/nu[majr]
  • SEARCH on the Clinical Queries page for RCTs, Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis
  • Place specific words in the title
    • nursing[ti]

If you have too few citations:

  • OR more synonyms
    • aspirin OR tylenol OR acetaminophen OR ibuprofen for headache relievers
  • Take off a subheading attachment
  • Take off LIMITs
  • Think of another place to search other than PubMed
    • CINAHL, Google Scholar


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