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NURS 102

What is Evidence-Based Nursing (EBN)?

According to Mosby's Medical Dictionary, evidence-based nursing is:

the practice of nursing in which the nurse makes clinical decisions on the basis of the best available current research evidence, the nurse's own clinical expertise, and the needs and preferences of the patient. (654)

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 10th ed. (2017). Elsevier.


When a nurse is using EBN practices, he or she must consider equally three important areas, according to the above definition:

  • The best available current research evidence
  • His or her own clinical expertise
  • The needs and preferences of the patient

In order to correctly practice EBN, a nurse must be able to conduct research efficiently. This skill-set should be learned while in college and used and improved upon throughout the nurse's career. Understanding how to use library resources and databases is imperative to those who want to excel in the nursing profession.  


EBN in Allied Health Nursing Collection

EBSCO eBooks: Evidence-Based Nursing

Evidence Based Articles - What?!

Evidence based journal articles are articles that follow the same rules that a nurse must when following evidence based practice guidelines. This means an evidence based article includes a systematic review of the current research that exists on a certain subject which leads to a recommended action or diagnosis on the part of the article's author(s). 

Not every article that can be found in the library's research databases is defined as "evidence based" and it's important to go into a database with an idea of where to start your search. 

To Find Evidence Based Articles through CINAHL:

CINAHL limiter options

Go to the CINAHL Complete homepage (linked on this page). Under the search bar, click "Advanced Search" to produce all search options. Under "Limit your results" check "Full Text" to search articles in which CINAHL provides the entire text of the article. In the right column, check "Evidence Based Practice" to produce evidence based article results. Then, in the search bar, search for your topic keyword or subject.

Provided by the National Institutes of Health, PubMed is a free resource with incredibly powerful search capabilities. It has just one drawback: it only provides access to the full text of articles that are free of charge on the Web. Despite this, PubMed is still one of the best resources for finding evidence based articles because of its searching options and up-to-date catalog.

Begin a search by entering your topic keyword or subject and clicking "Search". 

Customized PubMed results

Evidence based articles in PubMed are referred to as "Systematic Reviews"; to customize your results to only show evidence based articles, click "Customize..." found under the "Article types" heading on the left side of the page. Choose "Systematic Reviews" and click "Show". Then, click "Systematic Reviews" to select only those articles. To produce even better results, click "Free full text" under "Text availability", "5 years" under "Publication dates", and "Humans" under "Species". The final search results that appear after customizing the results should be a small but useful set of articles.  

Learn more about searching in PubMed from the U.S. National Library of Medicine's PubMed Tutorial.