Skip to Main Content
Link to CSU Home
Link to CSU Home
Students in the Library

Michael Schwartz Library

Students in the Connection Lounge
Michael Schwartz Library

NUR 361 - Evidence-Based Practice

A research guide for students in the NUR 361 online class

Researching Your Question

Clinical questions are not answered by the nursing research literature alone. The evidence (findings of published research studies) must be integrated with clinical expertise and patient preference in order to be applied in practice. 

Search the literature systematically to find available evidence:

  • explore multiple databases
  • consider different ways to describe the essential elements of your topic using keywords and controlled vocabulary terms (e.g., MeSH terms/headings)
  • search concepts separately to reveal limiting variables
  • combine concepts strategically to narrow your topic
  • use database limiters/filters thoughtfully (do not overuse!)
  • apply inclusion/exclusion criteria as you skim result lists instead of including too many concepts in one search
  • Schedule a research appointment to explore the literature with a database navigation expert!

PICO Examples

These pages will help you brainstorm ideas for PICO topics and question formatting:

Types of Research Studies

When reading and evaluating articles to answer your PICOT question, it's important to consider the methods or methodology to determine the type of research conducted and the corresponding level of evidence:


Research study types are not always obvious. Researchers may use elements of more than one design to achieve their purpose. Read carefully and use your best judgement to identify the overall category or type of a particular study's methodology.