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This guide is designed to help you search CINAHL, which is generally considered to be the premier database for nursing and allied health literature.  Use the tabs to learn how to search CINAHL, limit your results based on your information needs, and make use of special features like Evidence-Based Care Sheets. 

This guide is a sub-section of our Nursing Subject Guide.  Please consult that guide for suggestions for other databases relevant to nursing, plus recommended websites, health news, resources for patients, multimedia nursing resources, and more.

What is CINAHL?

CINAHL is the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.  It's generally considered to be the premier source of literature in nursing and allied health.

You can use the Library's CINAHL Plus with Full Text database to search for articles in hundreds of nursing and allied health journals.  You can also find materials like care plans, book chapters, clinical trials, evidence-based care sheets, protocols, and even cartoons!  In many instances, you can find the full article in PDF format and print it, save it, or e-mail it to yourself. 

Why Is CINAHL a Great Resource?

CINAHL is the best place to start looking for nursing journal articles.  Why?

  • It's convenient
    • You can access the database in the TC3 Library or 24/7 from wherever you have Internet access.
  • It's reliable
    • Using the Internet for your research may lead you to unreliable or even inaccurate information.  When you use CINAHL or other databases for your research, you know you're using reputable sources of information.
  • It includes full-text
    • In many instances, you can find the full article in PDF format and print it, save it, or e-mail it to yourself.
  • It's free
    • The TC3 Library pays the fees involved in providing this full-text database for our users.  If you search for articles using Google or another search engine, you may be asked to pay a fee before you can access the full-text.  Avoid extra fees and use CINAHL instead!  If you need an article that we don't have in print or in full-text, we'll order it for you - free of charge - through Interlibrary Loan.
  • It includes more material
    • The Internet is a great resource, but many scholarly articles and journals aren't available for free online.
  • It's easy to limit your results. 
    • CINAHL makes it easy to find articles that meet certain criteria (e.g., published in a nursing journal, articles written by a nurse, articles published in the last two years).  Use CINAHL's limits to target your search results.

Guides for Specific TC3 Nursing Classes

Tompkins Cortland Community College Library -170 North St, P.O. Box 139, Dryden, NY 13053 - 607-844-8222, ext. 4360 - Email the Library