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

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Hanna Schmillen
Alden Library- Room 206
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Wednesdays 10-12pm
Skype Contact: hanna.schmillen

Hospital vs. Community Nursing

With topics such as these, it can be helpful to think about what those differences are before you do an article search. And if you are unsure of what those could be, then this is where Google can be helpful; in the brainstorming process.

Possible differences:

  • Community nursing focuses on outreach, advocacy, health education, domestic violence, child development, self-care, and policy change. This is more proactive work for the whole community, not just one patient. They can also be school nurses.
  • Hospital nurses can be more specialized by their unit within their work. The work is more reactionary like the E.R. or office visits. These nurses tend to work with people one-on-one and think about individual patient education.

You will probably not find recently published research article that describes the differences between the two. You may have to find a couple articles on each one individually, then demonstrate the differences in your writing.

So for community nursing, I may search like this in CINAHL: (community OR public) AND (nurse OR nursing) AND (outreach OR advocacy)

Hospital nursing, I may search in CINAHL: (hospital OR clinic) AND (nurse OR nursing) AND (emergency OR ER)

Citing Data in APA

Citing data isn't too clear in the APA manual, so here are directions from the APA Style Blog!

Reference Example w/ DOI:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (2013).            Treatment episode data set -- discharges (TEDS-D) -- concatenated, 2006 to 2009 [Data set]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR30122.v2

In-text Citation Options:

1. "U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies (2013)"

2. "(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, 2013)." 

Of course, if you cite that a number of times, you’ll probably want to abbreviate the author name.

Finding Evaluation & Measurement Instruments

Question: Where do I go to find evaluation tools for nursing?

Answer: A couple places and ways! Finding assessment tools can be tricky because many are not free.

Plan A: We do have a couple resources (databases) to check out listed on our Tests and Measures Guide.

Plan B: Some nursing and health professions professional organizations have evaluation and assessment tools (not always free), such as the QSEN Institute and The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

Plan C: Look at studies to see if they include their pre and post tests or surveys in their article. You can contact authors as well, if you find one that looks super promising.

--> This means you will have to run a search in a database (perhaps CINAHL or ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health). TIP: Search for your topic and then AND (assessment tool OR evaluation tool)

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.