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Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL): Home

Use this guide to effectively search the McCarthy Library's CINAHL database


Step by Step with EBSCOHost CINAHL Plus with Full Text

CINAHL Plus is a great place to start research on nursing topics.  Simply click on the database link from the main McCarthy Library page and then choose "C" to be taken to all databases beginning with the letter "C".  This is where you will find the CINAHL Plus database.

Button marked "A-Z" databases found on Library homepageWebpage showing 71 databases in A-Z format


CINAHL is an allied health database that offers a large number of full text articles on nearly all medical topics. 

CINAHL database start page


CINAHL also includes Evidence-based Care Sheets and Quick Lessons. 

CINAHL navigation

 This libguide takes you step by step through both basic and advanced searching.

  1. Before you touch the keyboard, think carefully about your topic. Most topics for college level papers have two main ideas in them. If your topic does not have two ideas, then you may want to narrow it down. A good example of a paper topic is the health effects of using a cell phone.

    overlapping circles: cell phones and health

  2. The main ideas in this topic are: cell phones and health. To put these ideas together in a way that CINAHL Plus understands, your search statement becomes: cell phones AND health. The AND is not a word but a logical operator that tells the computer to look for all articles that deal with both health and cell phones. Here is how CINAHL Plus sees your search statement. The overlap between the

    circles is your search results.

  3. To reach CINAHL, start at the library web page. Click on the A-Z database button.  Select C. Then scroll down to CINAHL.
  4. Type your search statement into the box in Basic Search. Don't forget to check off the Full Text box and include the AND.

    CINAHL database search ready to go

    To find pamphlets called, Quick Lessons, scroll up and select Quick Lessons from the top navigation bar.  Note that there may or may not be a Quick lesson on your topic.

    Search box quick lesson

  5. If no quick lesson, Type your search terms into the search box.  Then, click the Search button to launch your basic search:
  6. Basic search using "cell phones" AND health search terms
  7. CINAHL Plus presents results ten(10) at a time in a light blue bordered box. You can move among them with the scroll bar and move between pages with the, Previous, Next, and Page Number links.
  8. To see an article's abstract and full text where available, click on its blue title.
  9. To see a full text article in PDF form, click on its PDF icon.

  10. To print an article, click on CINAHL Plus' print icon.  To email an article, click on CINAHL Plus' email icon and fill out the form.
    To save an article to a folder you can open at home, login to your personal EBSCO account and then click on the folder icon.
    To send a persistent link to your article or search to Yahoomail, Gmail, Twitter, or MySpace: click Share or Bookmark in small print and then choose an option.

  11. To end a search in CINAHL Plus, click the Home icon in the browser's top row or close your browser.

Advanced Searching with CINAHL Plus

If you are visually oriented, want more space and flexibility, or plan to try several related searches, then CINAHL Plus' Advanced Search is for you.

  1. Instead of using an AND between ideas in a search statement, in Advanced Search, you fill separate rows with your ideas, one row per idea.
  2. You can also put two or more synonyms for one idea together using OR, a logical operator joins synonyms as a single idea.
  3. In Advanced Search, fill in the multibox. Select Full Text, and click Search.

    A CINAHL Plus advanced search