ursing school involves a lot of research. It's impossible to subscribe to ALL the medical and nursing journals. Additionally, research in the library can be extremely time-consuming and hard to schedule, especially if you have a family at home. When pressed with homework deadlines, how does one find the information needed as quickly and efficiently as possible?
The advent of the internet has opened the doors for world-wide information access from the convenience of your own home. You can research articles and abstracts from an enormous variety of resources in a flash. The trick is in knowing how to conduct an effective search to increase your chances of finding solid information on the topic you are researching.
When you need to find information about a given subject, a quick way to zoom in on possible resources is to use a search engine (such as Yahoo, AOL, Lycos, etc.). The search engines look for "matches" in the text of webpages based on the keywords you enter into the search box. For example, if you want to find out about the ethics of nursing care with cancer patients, you would take the major words in your question (ethics, nursing, cancer care) and enter them into the search box. The search engines will match things up and give you a list of websites that have those words in them. Obviously, the more specific you can be, the better your chances of a good match. If you just enter "nursing ethics" you would have to wade through thousands of matches before finding an article related to cancer care. Likewise, if you entered only "cancer ethics,"
you would get results relating to ethics for many different professions, not just nursing. Try to be specific in your choice of keywords.
Once you have entered your search, the search engine will give you a list of matches with a quick summary where the words are used on the page. You can read these summaries to quickly determine if a site will provide the information you need. In the case of our example here, one result came back listing two different articles on the same webpage - one relating to nursing ethics in the treatment of children, the other article relating to cancer care. This match, then, would not be what you are looking for, since you want an article that addresses nursing ethics of cancer care specifically. If a result seems like a good match, click on the link and go to that site to review the material.
Here is one good match I found in our sample search: "Ethical Dilemmas in the Care of Patients with Incurable Cancer" (Nursing Ethics
). As you can see, the article in this online journal hits all the major keywords in our search (ethics, nursing, cancer care) and is exactly the kind of information source we are looking for.
Using the tools above, you can conduct a similar web search to find exactly the information you need. One more thing to note - always be sure to evaluate the source of the material you choose to use for your nursing projects. An article from a respected medical institution or association will carry more weight than an article from a fringe group or personal webpage, and the information will be more reliable.