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Evidence-Based Nursing: Evidence Acquisition/Databases

Systematic Reviews, Meta-analyses, Meta-syntheses

The Cochrane Library  
Full access to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, the Central Register of Controlled Trials and other high-level, quality Evidence-Based resources.

PubMed  To your search, add
AND systematic[sb] to retrieve systematic reviews, meta-analyses, reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based medicine, consensus development conferences, and guidelines

CINAHL with full text
In the Publication Type limit, choose Systematic Review, Meta Synthesis and Meta Analysis [hold control key to choose more than one]



Evidence-based clinical review summaries.  When available, links to systematic reviews that are provided for the topic.


More than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals and online books. Citations include links to full-text content from PubMed Central, publisher web sites, open-access journals, and (using this link) subscriptions of the Lamar Soutter Library.

CINAHL with full text
CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health) provides authoritative coverage of the literature related to nursing and allied health. More than 1600 journals are regularly indexed

The Evidence Pyramid

Evidence grading (a process of evidence acquisition and appraisal) is based on the premise that grades of evidence vary in their ability to predict the effectiveness of health practices. 
Higher grades of evidence are more likely to reliably predict outcomes than lower grades.

Evidence Pyramid

More Evidence Based Sources

Nursing Reference Center

Evidence-based Care Sheets, Quick Lessons, Nursing Practice & Skills, Continuing Education (CE), Research Instruments, Legal Cases, Patient Education and News. Searches in NRC are also automatically performed in CINAHL with Full Text.  (or search CINAHL with Full Text alone.)


Evidence-Based Nursing:
This journal assesses clinical relevance of best studies from international medical journals, including key details of studies and expert commentary on their clinical application.


Joanna Briggs Institute:
An international collaboration involving nursing, medical and allied health researchers, clinicians, academics and quality managers. 

The library subscribes to two JBI journals: 
International Journal of Evidence- Based Healthcare: official journal of The Joanna Briggs Institute (2005 - present)

and its previous title:  JBI Reports (2003-2004)

Some content is open access from this resource:

The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports
If you need a particular systematic review, contact the librarians for an interlibrary loan at no charge to you.


Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository (Henderson Repository) - a resource of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
Dedicated to sharing works created by nurses, an open-access digital academic and clinical scholarship service that freely collects, preserves, and disseminates full-text nursing research and evidence-based practice materials



The second step, evidence acquisition, involves locating the highest quality, relevant literature, usually from the nursing and medical literature, to begin to answer your question.  This step involves a careful choice of sources, based on levels of evidence which are either “filtered” (usually systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or other overviews of the evidence to assure that they are of high quality and relevance), or “unfiltered,” (the student researches the literature based on the clinical question and filters the results in the process).

More Evidence Based Sources

ACP Journal Club (American College of Physicians):
Summary abstracts and comments on select original research articles and systematic reviews.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.  AHRQ supports research that helps people make more informed decisions and improves the quality of health care services.


Independent, evidence-based health care commentaries written by Oxford UK scientists.

Provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. Includes statements of a trial's purpose, participation guidelines, locations, and phone numbers for more details.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement:
This independent, non-profit group maintains this site which contains links to guidelines, preventive services, summary reports about clinical outcomes.

ECRI Guidelines Trust (content from former National Guideline Clearinghouse):
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

Citations with abstracts to the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences. 

UpToDate: (on-campus access) 
UpToDate: (off-campus access)
Synthesized review articles with varying levels of evidence, often with emphasis on best-evidence with a special focus on internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:
An independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, composed of primary care providers; USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems.