Online Nursing Programs (RN-BSN, MSN, DNP) - Assignment FAQs

This guide contains helpful information for those students enrolled in the RN-BSN Online Program at Ohio University.

Welcome to the Online Nursing Guide!

Welcome to the research guide designed especially for students in the RN-to-BSN online program.   Information posted here will be aimed at answering your most frequent questions your library gets from students in your program, so you should check here first if you get stuck doing research for an assignment.  Of course, no guide can answer all your questions, so feel free to contact a reference librarian noted in the Contact/Need Help? page or your Health Sciences Librarian, Hanna Schmillen, directly; you can find her contact information in the box to the bottom left. Hanna will also post relevant material and information on this guide to help you through your assignments so be on the look out!

The Nursing Student Knowledge Center is the central point for all RN-to-BSN course information and is designed to help you succeed. It includes links to: Order books, Financial aid, Tech support, Course offerings, Forms and resources, and much, much more!

Health Sciences Subject Librarian

Hanna Schmillen's picture
Hanna Schmillen
Alden Library- Room 206
Grover W123A on:
Tuesdays 2-5pm
Wednesdays 10-12pm
Skype Contact

Tips for narrowing your topic

Topic example: Diversity in the nursing workforce

1. Pick out your main concepts: Diversity - nursing - workforce

2. Run a search using AND/OR and see what happens! I suggest using ArticlesPlus or CINAHL.(click to see my results)

ArticlesPlus is VERY multidisciplinary, so you will get A LOT of results, but you will see different aspects. CINAHL is specific to nursing and allied health, so you get less, more specific results. So one way to narrow your search would be to choose a more subject-appropriate place to search.   

3. If you do not like the results you see, think about the words you are searching. Is the word 'workforce' the only way to describe the concept? Nope! What about: hospital - work - nursing home - health industry? Diversity could be described in other ways as well: diverse, ethnic diversity; cultural diversity, etc. This is when you start to ask yourself questions. What workforce am I most interested in? What kind of diversity? What outcomes am I looking for in my search?

For example, lets say I am actually more interested in ethnic diversity among hospital staff, specifically nurses. So I am going to search CINAHL with a different search (click to see search adn results)

I went from over 350 results to 50 results and some of the first couple articles look great!

Citing a Video

The general format is as follows:

Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

Sometimes you will not have an author, just a screen name and that's fine. If that is the case then do not put the screen name in brackets and use that as the author.

Video file you will leave as is. You do not need to say if it's an MP3 or other media type.

The URL can vary. Double check with your professor if you should use the Blackboard URL or a more accessible link.

Searching for qualitative and quantitative evidence

Search template for finding evidence-based articles

Looking for articles that are evidence-based on your topic! This link will take you to a search template in CINAHL. All you need to do is type in your topic in the second line and search!

Full-text when there is no PDF link

Getting full text from any library database. This example if from CINAHL. Just becase there is not a PDF link right underneath the article title, does not mean we do not have access.

Organize Your Resources!--> You will thank me later

Use Zotero or another citation manger, I promise it will make your life much easier and you will thank yourself later. With Zotero you can easily collect citation information as you search and then pull it out later as you are reading and writing. It will also help you create citations, and it is free.

New Zotero download:

  1. Zotero no longer supports the Firefox in-browser version so you will have to download the program Zotero 5.0.
  2. Make sure you create a free Zotero account so you can sync your library, this is VERY important.
  3. With the Zotero Standalone make sure you have your browser's connector or plugin (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) that will allow you to add content to Zotero. Note that Zotero does not support Internet Explorer. If you are a Safari or Chrome user, download the standalone and then add the connector for your browser. The files for the connectors are under the software downloads on Zotero's site. You can also find the Zotero Connector as an app in Chrome.
  4. Once you have downloaded Zotero, you may have to go to your browser preferences to ensure the Zotero Icon will show on your bookmark toolbar. You will also have to sync your standalone with your connector by logging into your free Zotero account.

Alden Library hosts a variety of workshops and other Zotero tutorials to help you out. Here is a link to many options for help using Zotero.

Using the Zotero Microsoft Word Add-in tips and information.

Zotero Basics- all you need to know to get going!

Getting Stuff into Zotero- Short and Sweet

Getting AMA Style into Zotero