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Arkansas State University

RN to BSN Research Guide: Starting Your Research

This guide will point you to resources to assist you in your research during your transition from RN to BSN.

Books to Help You Succeed

Lit Reviews

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a summary and evaluation of the significant research that has been published on a topic. It’s organized in a way that shows the relationship between studies, as well as the way each has contributed to an understanding of the topic. A review article is a literature review that has been published in a journal. Research articles also contain a mini-literature review, often found in the article’s introduction or in a section titled “literature review.”

Starting your research

PICO is an excellent method for framing your research. PICO is

P - Patient, Population, or Problem
I - Intervention
C - Comparison/Control
O - Outcome

Finding Articles

To find evidence based research articles and to answer clinical questions in the PICO format (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) you can use the following limiters:

In CINAHL (Advanced Search): 

  • Limit to Evidence-Based Practice

  • Limit to Publication Type - Systematic Review

  • Limit to Special Interest – EBP

  • Limit to Clinical Queries

  • Search CINAHL Headings for the terms Meta Analysis and Systematic Review

In PubMed (Advanced Search)

  • Limit to Type of Article – Meta-Analysis

  • Limit to Subsets – Topics – Systematic Reviews

  • Limit to Queries – Clinical then Search by Clinical Study category and or Find Systematic Reviews