The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) is available via the EBSCOhost platform. CINAHL focuses on over 50 nursing specialties as well as allied health subjects, including speech and language pathology, nutrition, physical therapy, etc. CINAHL indexes over 5,600 journals and contains more than 7.6 million records.
CINAHL is a subscription database, thus you will need to access CINAHL through the Wegner Health Sciences Library's website. By connecting through the Wegner Health Sciences Library, you will also be linked with Wegner's subscriptions and holdings for access to full-text or to submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) if Wegner does not subscribe to that resource.
Controlled Vocabulary provides a consistent, precise way to retrieve information when different words are used for the same concept, or when the same language is used for different concepts. CINAHL's controlled vocabulary is called CINAHL Subject Headings. CINAHL Subject Headings are organized in a hierarchy. The subject headings include indexing annotations, scope notes, entry vocabulary , history notes, and allowable subheadings. CINAHL Subject Headings can be found on the top of the databases in the blue bar.
Keywords are all the ways to say the same thing and are valuable when there is no controlled vocabular for your search term. Keywords also catch newer articles that have not yet been, or will not be, indexed with controlled vocabulary. Terms used as keywords will be searched for in the title, abstract, or other text field in the citation record. Keywords can be:
Use controlled vocabulary AND keywords TOGETHER!
If you have a phrase, it is recommended to search it within quotation marks ("), otherwise the phrase could be split and the terms searched separately, e.g., "kidney allograft". If you search for a hyphenated word, CINAHL will search both the hyphenated and non-hyphenated forms, e.g., cancer-causing will retrieve cancer-causing and cancer causing.
You can use truncation or wildcard symbols to create searches with unknown characters, multiple spellings, or vaious endings. CINAHL recognizes three truncation or wildcard symbols:
The asterisk is the truncation wildcard and is used to find various word endings.
The asterisk can also be used within words to find multiple characters.
The asterisk can also be used between words to match any single word.
Use the hash wildcard in your search term where an alternate spelling might contain an extra character.
Question Mark Wildcard
Use the question mark wildcard in the middle of a word to find exactly one character.
Do not use the question mark wildcard at the end of a word, if done, CINAHL will remove it from the query. If you need to use it at the end of a term, you will need to put the hash wildcard before it (e.g., Monday#?). However, it is recommended to use the asterisk wildcard at the end of a word.
Wildcards can be combined in a search term.
Restrictions when using wildcards:
Field Codes are used with keywords and act like a command that tells the database where to search for the keywords. In CINAHL, you can either pick a field code from the dropdown menu or enter the two-letter code in front of your search. If entering the two-letter code, it must be in ALL CAPS. The two options can be seen below for a search in the titles only.
Boolean operators are used to combine all of your terms together. Boolean operators must be in ALL CAPS in order to be properly recognized by the database. CINAHL recognizes three Boolean operators:
OR will broaden your search. Use OR between like terms. "intensive care unit*" OR "critical care unit*" OR icu
AND will narrow your search. Use AND between different terms. "Intensive care unit*" AND "compassion fatigue"
NOT will exclude terms from your search. Please consult with a librarian before using NOT in a search as you may be excluding vital references. adult NOT child
Proximity searching allows you to search for two or more words that occur within a certain number of words from each other. CINAHL's proximity operators are comprised of a letter (N or W) and a number (n specifies the number of words). CINAHL recognizes two proximity operators: