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DNP Program Guide


This guide features a collection of sources for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. Here, you will find links to library databases, eJournals, eBooks, and online resources that cover key topics of advanced practice nursing.

How to "Speak Library"

Why Searching the Library is Different

The library's search tools work differently than other search engines you might be used to, like Google.

Doing research in the library requires more planning and structure than searching Google, and that's why library databases need you, the library user, to "talk" to it in a specific way.

Searching the Library, Step By Step

Step 1: Start at the Library Homepage

To get started, always begin at the library homepage.

Step 2: Pick Your Search Tab

In the library search box at the top of the page, make sure you've selected the Search Everything tab. 

Search box on the library homepage

The Search Everything tab searches all of the Chamberlain University Library's databases. This gives you the best possible chance of finding material about your topic.

The other tabs -- Articles, eBooks, and Videos -- allow you to search a limited selection of materials by type. This is great if you are doing a quick search for a weekly discussion post but may be too limiting if you're doing research for a paper.

You can also jump directly to a database like CINAHL or Cochrane, but keep in mind that by searching those databases individually, you will only find whatever articles are in those specific collections. 

Of course, if your professor has instructed you to use only CINAHL, or another database, you should always follow their instructions.

The good news is, everything you learn below will work no matter which tab or database you use!

Step 3: Use Good Keywords, Combined with AND, OR, and NOT

Basically, the library databases want you to find a few short keywords or key phrases that describe your topic, and combine them using the special words AND, OR, and NOT (in all caps!)

Finding Good Keywords

To start thinking about "Keywords" or "Key Phrases," consider an example.

Let's say you've been asked to search the library for scholarly articles about the topic of "educating parents about diabetes in children." To be successful searching in the library is to take at that complex topic and break it down into a few separate, simpler ideas.

In this case, you need articles that are about:

patient education

These are the "Keywords" or "Key Phrases" for your topic. A keyword is just one word that describes an idea -- "parents" or "diabetes," in our example -- and a key phrase uses two or three words to describe an idea -- like the phrase "patient education" in our example.

Keywords can be used right away. Key phrases need to have quotation marks put around them, as in:

"patient education"

That way, the library database knows you are looking for that exact phrase, rather than either the word "patient" or the word "education" on its own.

Using AND, OR, and NOT

The words AND, OR, and NOT are technically called Boolean Operators, but that is just a fancy way of saying that you can use these words to combine your keywords or phrases into something that the library database understands.

So, for example, if you search for:

"patient education" AND parents AND diabetes AND children

You will be shown articles that use all of those keywords, and your search results should be pretty relevant to our example topic.

If, by contrast, you searched for:

"patient education" AND diabetes OR "type 2" NOT children NOT parents 

You would only see articles that include the words "diabetes", "Patient Education", and "type 2"  but which exclude the words "children" or "parents" -- that would show you articles relevant to a topic like "Educating adult or adolescent diabetes patients".

You can add as many keywords to your search as you want! Just remember the pattern "AND keyword" "OR keyword", and "NOT keyword".

"AND keyword" includes your keyword; "OR keyword" to include one or more terms; "NOT keyword" excludes your keyword; 

You can go on forever:

diabetes AND children AND Atlanta AND "public schools" AND nurses AND needles OR injection AND brands 
NOT parents NOT teachers NOT "skin care" NOT headaches


Step 4: Limit to Full Text, Scholarly Articles from the Last Five Years

Once you hit search, you will  be taken to a list of search results. To make sure you are seeing scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from the last five years, you need to:

Look to the left-hand side of the page and find the Limit To section.

Make sure the Peer-Reviewed box is checked and the Publication Date range is set to the last five years. Each time you make a change in the Limit To section, the page will refresh. 

Limit To section on the search results page