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Nursing: Home

Finding Information

Health Sciences Databases

These databases contain varying levels of evidence.  Ranging from expert opinions to systematic reviews and meta analyses, these health sciences databases are the best place to start your search.  Most of the information in these databases has been peer-reviewed, but most articles have not been evaluated by experts to determine the strength of the evidence.  This is called unfiltered information.

See the list of other health sciences databases.

For a list of top databases from other disciplines such as education, business, social work, and more, see the Other Helpful Databases tab.

Evidence-Based Practice Databases

These resources will generally provide higher levels of evidence because experts have collected, analyzed, and reported on the evidence for you.  This is called filtered information.

Higher types of evidence include Systematic Reviews, Meta-Analyses, Guidelines, Critically Appraised Topics and more.

Many evidence-based practice groups publish their findings online.

You can also search for specific Publication Types or Article Types like Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, Guideline, or Randomized Controlled Trial in Health Sciences Databases like CINAHL, PubMed, or Embase.

Other Useful Databases

These databases are not focused on nursing, but they may also be useful depending on your topic.  This information will also be unfiltered because it has not been appraised by experts.

Finding Related Articles

Search for an article title in these databases to see a list of all the articles that cite your article.

Interdisciplinary Topics

Does your topic relate to education, psychology, business, or another subject?  Try searching resources from the complete list of databases by subject at UNC.


Guidelines (also known as clinical practice guidelines, practice guidelines, and CPG's) are high-level evidence because a group of experts has reviewed the existing evidence on a topic, graded the evidence, and made recommendations for how to implement the evidence in a clinical setting. Guidelines can be developed on the international, national, state, and local level by health organizations, hospitals, and other groups, but always check the quality and authorship to be sure it is trustworthy and can be used in patient care.

Check guideline sites/organizations

Check databases by selecting "Guideline" or "Practice Guideline" from the Publication Type or Article Type limit and searching for part of your topic

Check the websites of trusted professional organizations (See the list of examples)

  • Search the web for part of your topic (usually a specific disease, condition, or intervention) and "practice guideline" or "clinical guideline"
  • Go to an organization's website and search on their site for guidelines they have posted

Selected Mobile Apps

For the full list of available apps and download instructions, visit our Mobile Health & Research Apps guide.

Canopy Speak Medical Translator App
Translator app for clinicians interacting with limited-English patients. Includes a large library of pre-translated phrases with text and audio in 15 languages. Set up a link to UNC Health Care or UNC Dentistry translation services.
mobile Micromedex Drug Essentials






Visual Dx

Selected Mobile Optimized Websites

MedlinePlus Mobile

National Guidelines Clearinghouse


Many researchers do thorough studies in order to complete a dissertation or thesis, but these studies may not always be published later as journal articles.  It is important to search for dissertations/theses on your topic, especially as these studies can help you as you are designing your research study.


Our library catalog will aid you in finding books, kits, cd's, dvd's and more.  The catalog is available from the HSL website or at  Books published before 1990 are in the library basement. Books published after 1990 are on the library's third floor.

For a quick guide to searching the catalog, visit our Finding Health Information guide.

If we don't have it:

1. Check the resources of our TRLN network using the Expand Your Search box on the right side of the catalog results page.  Many times you can order your book from one of these libraries.

2. If TRLN doesn't have it, request it via the Interlibrary Loan website.

Note: You must sign up for a Borrower's account in order to check out library books or request them.  Visit our 1st floor Information Desk to sign up.

To get into UNC databases:

On Campus Access: Electronic resources are accessible on-campus. Faculty, students and staff must register personal laptops and mobile devices with UNC Chapel Hill ITS.

UNC Hospitals Access: Electronic resources are available via the Library website by logging in with your Onyen. Note: UpToDate is available within EPIC.

Off Campus Access: Access resources off-campus via the Library website by logging in with your Onyen. Most electronic resources are accessible off-campus to students, faculty, and staff, including UNC Hospitals' staff.

Create or manage your ONYEN and password here.

Learn about off-campus access IDs.

Report an off-campus access or hospital access problem.


To get access to full articles:

Find @ UNC

Click on the Find @ UNC button button in database results to:

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