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Nursing: Getting Started

Explore library resources for the Nursing program at McMaster.


Welcome to the Health Sciences Library's Nursing Guide. McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences places a strong focus on problem-based learning and evidence-informed decision making, both of which require students to have a strong understanding of the information resources available through the library.  

When seeking health information, it is always best to take a systematic approach.  It is a process that involves identifying information needs in the form of a question, deciding which resources might hold the answer, and developing a search strategy appropriate to capturing the necessary information.

Whether your needs relate to coursework, clinical situations, or original research, this guide will help support the effective and efficient retrieval of such information.  


Using This Guide

Forming Questions - This tab will help you determine exactly what your information needs are and express them as a question.

Background 6S/Foreground Info - Depending on the type of question you end up with, these tabs will recommend the best resources to find the answer.

Further Research - This tab is tailored to the information needs of nurses working on research projects (e.g grey literature resources, interdisciplinary databases, search tools, etc.)

Clinical - This tab contains tools and resources useful to nurses working in clinical settings (e.g. mobile apps, free online resources, entry to practice competencies, etc.)

Nursing Theory - This tab covers information relating to the various theoretical frameworks underlying nursing research and practice.  


If you have any suggestions for additions to this guide, please contact Sarah Cairns.

Evidence-Informed Decision Making at McMaster

Conceptual diagram of EIDM.  Using clinical expertise to make the best decision based on clinical setting, patient preferences, health care resources, and research evidence. Evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) is a broad concept referring to the incorporation of valid and relevant external evidence during the decision making process.

In nursing, such evidence is most commonly found in high-quality research studies that can be applied to the specific patient or population being considered.  

As McMaster nursing students, the concept of EIDM runs through all aspects of your academic curriculum: from theory to research to clinical decision-making and beyond.

The resources available at the Health Sciences Library can help you find the best available evidence to support these processes, but this is only one piece of the EIDM puzzle (See Fig. 1)

Evidence-Informed Decision Making: Just for Fun!

Some Studies That I Like to Quote by James McCormack

Viva La Evidence! by James McCormack

New to Searching?

Check out these helpful HSL tutorials for tips on conducting an effective and efficient search!

Guide Contact

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Sarah Cairns
HSL 2B30
905-525-9140 x22022

Guide Creator

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Laura Banfield
HSL 2B33
905-525-9140 ext 20239

Off-Campus Access

The small lock icon office campus lock icon beside a link indicates this is an online library resource.  When you click on the resource link from off-campus you'll be redirected to a login page. Login using your MacID and password to access the content.