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NUR 506 - Evidence Based Practice

This Library Research Guide is to assist NUR 506 students with nursing research and support for their final project Tests and measurements, theoretical framework, PICO, PICOT, literature review, statistics.

Formulating a PICO(T) Question

The PICOT question is "a consistent, systematic way to identify the components of a clinical issue" (Stillwell, 2010, p. 59). Review the resources below to learn the importance of the clinical question, how to create one and to look at examples. 

Stillwell, S., Fineout-Overholt, E., Melnyk, B., & Williamson, K. (2010). EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question: A Key Step in Evidence-Based Practice. The American Journal of Nursing, 110(3), 58-61. Retrieved from

Researching a PICO(T) Question

CINAHL or Multi-Search

Both CINAHL This link opens in a new window and Multi-Search This link opens in a new window have the PICO guided search link enabled. Click that link to type in your PICO keywords and synonyms.

Screenshot of where to find the PICO Search link on the CINAHL search page

Let’s say your PICO question is whether music therapy reduces the stress of premature infants? Fill out the PICO guided search with the appropriate keywords and synonyms like this:

Screenshot of the PICO guided search

Once you click Submit, it will populate the search box with your search terms and run the search. Make sure that you update your publication date if you can only use articles from the past 5 years. There’s a publication date filter over on the left side. Just type in the year you want into the left box and it should update your results immediately once you click Enter.

Screenshot of the search results page

Nursing Journals on OVID

In addition to CINAHL, we also recommend that you run a similar search in Nursing Journals on OVID This link opens in a new window. It does not have a PICO guided search tool, but you can copy and paste the search string from your CINAHL search just like this and plug it into the OVID search box:

(premature infants OR preterm infants) AND (music OR sing* OR song) AND (anxiety OR stress)

Screenshot of the search page in the Nursing Journals on OVID

Google Scholar

Finally, take that same search string and try Google Scholar This link opens in a new window, which can be linked up to our library’s full text using the instructions in the FAQ How can I use Google Scholar to find electronic articles held by the Shapiro Library?. Just click the “FullText@ShapiroLibrary” link to go to the full-text courtesy of Shapiro Library.

Screenshot of Google Scholar PICO Search

Interlibrary Loan

If you see an article that looks helpful, but you do not see the full-text link on the right, please submit an Interlibrary Loan request for it. It’s a free service for SNHU students and it generally only takes 2-4 business days to get you the PDF from a library that has it. This is highly recommended for nursing students as there are many nursing journals that put an embargo on the most recent issues.