Nursing: Visiting Scholars

Welcome, Visiting Scholars!

Welcome to UNC Chapel Hill!  As a researcher, you will find lots of resources and help through the Health Sciences Library.  Take a look around and see some of what we have to offer.  Be sure to check out our HSL New Users guide to get oriented to the library!

Visit our Ask A Librarian page if you need assistance!

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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The Search Process

For help developing your PICO/clinical question, visit the Forming Focused Questions with PICO page.

For help with the EBP process, visit the Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice guide developed by UNC and Duke.

Comparing reference managers

HSL Online Guides Endnote Mendeley Zotero F1000Workspace
Classes at HSL See here See here   See here
Cost Under $100 through UNC-CH

Free to everyone
UNC-CH Add-ons

Free to everyone Free through UNC-CH
Notes See EndNote Basic/Online guide for further details on the free online version     Use this link to create account.  Select No, I'm a new user then select password.
How is it used? Computer
+ Web
+ Web
+ Web
Major citation styles?
Annotation of PDFs
Locate full-text using UNC-CH subscriptions



Adds citation from a PDF
Sharing options X7 and above users have sharing options / email compressed libraries UNC-CH members have unlimited groups See group options here
Share unlimited projects and manuscripts
Free online storage X7 and above: unlimited 5,000+ papers
(UNC-CH members have more space)
700+ papers
(more space can be purchased)
Word Processor Microsoft Word Microsoft Word
LibreOffice (latest)
Microsoft Word
LibreOffice (all)
Microsoft Word
Google Docs
Manuscripts for Mac

Visiting Scholars' Borrowing Privileges

Please print out Borrower's Application and bring in completed, signed form and a valid UNC One Card with expiration date or a letter from department verifying affliation with UNC to the User Services desk.

Cost of borrowing: N/A

ID required: UNC One Card or appropriate photo ID

InterLibrary Loan access: Yes

Off-campus electronic access: Yes

TRLN and UNC System borrowing privileges: Yes

From: HSL's Cards and Access website


UNC Writing Center

Submit a paper for editing advice, meet with one-on-one about your paper, or take a course in academic writing, pronunciation, or presentation skills.

Explore the resources for those who speak English as a second language.


Writing and Citing Help

Visit our Writing and Citing guide for assistance with citation management software, citation styles, and more.

Our Citing Special Sources guide can help you cite unique or difficult items.


Still have questions?  Ask a Librarian!

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