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RN-BSN Library Guide

Use this Library Research Guide to help locate evidence-based resources including articles, information on research appraisal, statistics, evidence translation, clinical practice tools, informatics and professional resources.

Glossary of Terms

Appraisal- can refer to either a critical or research appraisal.

Clinical Judgment- The skill of recognizing cues regarding a clinical situation, generating and weighing hypotheses, taking action, and evaluating outcomes for the purpose of arriving at a satisfactory clinical outcome. Clinical judgment is the observed outcome of two unobserved underlying mental processes, critical thinking, and decision-making (NCSBN, 2018; AACN, 2021).  

Clinical Reasoning- Thought processes that allow healthcare providers to arrive at a conclusion (AACN, 2021). 

Community health- Non-clinical approaches for improving health, preventing disease and reducing health disparities through addressing social, behavioral, environmental, economic and medical determinants of health in a geographically defined population (AHA, n.d.)  

Competence: The array of abilities (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) across multiple domains or aspects of performance in a certain context. Competence is multi-dimensional and dynamic (Frank, Snell, Cate, et al., 2010; AACN, 2021).  

Competency: An observable ability of a health professional, integrating multiple components such as knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes. Since competencies are observable, they can be measured and assessed to ensure their acquisition (Frank, Snell, Cate, et al., 2010; AACN, 2021).  

Credible source- Evaluating Sources Guide 

Critical appraisal-The assessment of an individual research article. Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research evidence to judge its trustworthiness, its value and relevance in a particular context

Cultural awareness: The deliberate self-examination and in-depth exploration of one’s biases, stereotypes, prejudices, assumptions, and “isms” that one holds regarding individuals and groups who are different from them (Campinha-Bacote, 1998; AACN, 2021). 

Cultural competence: The ability to effectively work within the client’s cultural context. Structural competence is the recognition of the economic and political conditions that produce health inequalities in the first place. It is the ability to understand how institutions, markets, or healthcare delivery systems shape symptom presentations and to mobilize for the correction of health and wealth inequalities in society (Drevdahl, 2018; Metzl et al., 2018; Metzl et al., 2020; AACN, 2021).  

Determinants of health: The range of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that interrelate to determine individual and population health. These factors include policymaking, social factors, health services, individual behaviors, and biology and genetics. Determinants of health reach beyond the boundaries of traditional health care and public health sectors. Sectors such as education, housing, transportation, agriculture, and environment can be important allies in improving population health (Healthy People, 2020; AACN, 2021). 

Emotional intelligence: The ability to perceive, appraise and express emotion, access, and process emotional information, generate feelings, understand emotional knowledge, and regulate emotions for emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer, et al, 1997, p. 10). Emotional intelligence, like academic intelligence, can be learned, increases with age, and is predictive of how emotional processing contributes to success in life (Mayer et al., 2004; AACN, 2021). 

Equity: The ability to recognize the differences in the resources or knowledge needed to allow individuals to fully participate in society, including access to higher education, with the goal of overcoming obstacles to ensure fairness (Kranich, 2001). To have equitable systems, all people should be treated fairly, and unhampered by artificial barriers, stereotypes, or prejudices (Cooper, 2016; AACN, 2021).  

Evidence-based practice- A conscientious, problem-solving approach to clinical practice that incorporates the best evidence from well-designed studies, patient values and preferences, and a clinician’s expertise in making patient care decisions. Being knowledgeable about evidence-based practice and levels of evidence is important for clinicians to be confident about how much emphasis they should place on a study, report, practice alert, or practice guideline when making decisions about a patient’s care (AACN, 2021).  

Health disparities: “A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with economic, social, or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2023, para. 6). 

Health equity: “When every person has an opportunity to attain full health potential and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances” (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017, p. 32). Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment (AACN, 2021). 

Health inequity: The distribution and allocation of power and resources differentially, which manifest in unequal social, economic, and environmental conditions (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017; AACN, 2021).  

Healthcare professional- A professional who studies, diagnoses, treats, and prevents human injury, injury, and other physical and mental impairments according to the population’s needs (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2013). This includes nursing professionals, pharmacists, medical doctors, midwives, and dentists.  

Healthcare provider- A Doctor of Medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery (as appropriate) by the State in which the doctor practices (Definition of health care provider, 29 C.F.R. §825.125(a), 2023).  

INTERdisciplinary- Refers to a group of healthcare providers with various areas of expertise who work together toward their clients’ goals (AACN, 2021). 

Interprofessional- Engagement involving two or more professions or professionals (AACN, 2021). 

INTRAdisciplinary- being or occurring within the scope of a scholarly or academic discipline or between the people active in such a discipline (Merriam-Webster, n.d.) 

Public health- Public health focuses on improving the overall health of a group by improving the health of individuals through disease prevention, disease screening, disease treatment, as well as monitoring and modifying the environmental, social, and political environment (Edemekong & Tenny, 2023).  

Peer-reviewed- Evaluating Sources Guide 

Population health- Approach to health that aims to improve the health of an entire population (CDC, n.d.).  

Research appraisal- the Project Preparation assignments within the NUR 411 course of the BSN program which incorporates critical appraisals. 

Scholarly- Evaluating Sources Guide 

Spheres of Care: Encompass the healthcare needs of individuals, families, populations, and the care/services required to address these needs and promote desired health outcomes. In this document, four spheres of care are delineated 1) disease prevention/promotion of health and well-being, which includes the promotion of physical and mental health in all patients as well as management of minor acute and intermittent care needs of generally healthy patients; 2) chronic disease care, which includes management of chronic diseases and prevention of negative sequelae; 3) regenerative or restorative care, which includes critical/trauma care, complex acute care, acute exacerbations of chronic conditions, and treatment of physiologically unstable patients that generally requires care in a mega-acute care institution; and, 4) hospice/palliative/supportive care which includes end-of-life care as well as palliative and supportive care for individuals requiring extended care or those with complex, chronic disease states or those requiring rehabilitative care (Lipstein, et al, 2016; AACN, 2019; AACN, 2021). 


American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2021). The Essentials: Core competencies for professional nursing education. 

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2019). AACN’s vision for academic nursing. White paper. pdf. 

American Hospital Association {AHA} (n.d.). Community health and well-being: What is community health.  

Campinha-Bacote, J. (1998). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services. (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Transcultural C.A.R.E Associates. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (n.d.). Handout of public health key terms.  

Definition of health care provider. 29 C.F.R. §825.125(a).  

Cooper, C. L. (2016). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management. Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Reference Online. Accessed at html?id=g9780631233176_9780631233 176. 

Drevdahl, D. (2018). Culture shifts: From cultural to structural theorizing in nursing. Nursing Research, 67(2), 146-160. 

Geneva: World Health Organization (2013). Transforming and Scaling Up Health Professionals' Education and Training: World Health Organization Guidelines 2013. Annex 1, Definition and list of health professionals. 

Edemekong, P.F. and Tenny, S. (2023, Jan). Public Health. [Updated 2022 Dec 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; -. Available from: 

Frank, J. R., Snell, L. S., Cate, O. T., Holmboe, E. S., Carraccio, C., Swing, S. R., Harris, P., Glasgow, N. J., Campbell, C., Dath, D., Harden, R. M., Iobst, W., Long, D. M., Mungroo, R., Richardson, D. L., Sherbino, J., Silver, I., Taber, S., Talbot, M., & Harris, K. A. (2010). Competency-based medical education: theory to practice. Medical Teacher, 32(8), 638–645. 

Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 

Kranich, N. (2001). Equality and equity of access: What’s the difference? Libraries and Democracy, Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 15-27. For the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee. 

Lipstein, S. H, Kellermann, A. L., Berkowitz, B., Phillips, R., Sklar, D., Steele, G. D., & Thibault, G. E. (September 2016). Workforce for 21st century health and health care: A vital direction for health and health care. National Academies of Medicine. uploads/2016/09/Workforce-for-21st-Century-Health-andHealth-Care.pdf  

Mayer, J.D., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In: Salovey, P., Sluyter, D.J. (Eds.), What is Emotional Intelligence? Basic Books, New York. 

Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2004). Emotional intelligence, theory, findings and implications. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 197–215.  

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Intradisciplinary. In dictionary. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from  

Metzl, J., Petty, J., & Olowojoba, O. (2018). Using a structural competency framework to teach structural racism in pre-health education. Social Science and Medicine, 199, 198-201.  

Metzl, J., Maybank, A., & De Maio, F. (2020). Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic: The need for a structurally competent healthcare system. JAMA, 324(3), 231-232. journals/jama/fullarticle/ 2767027 

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Communities in action: Pathways to health equity (p. 32). The National Academies Press. 

National Council State Boards of Nursing. (2018). Summary of the strategic practice analysis. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020). Healthy People 2020. foundation-health- measures/Determinants-of-Health 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2023). Health equity in Healthy People 2023.