Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Resources for DNP Students: Making your search strategy

This guide provides information on how best to utilize library resources throughout your DNP program at the College of Nursing.

From Concept Table to Search Strategy

Example concept table with Boolean operators and grouping mark-up

The image above offers a visual description of what we do when we transform our concept table into a search strategy.

  • First, the red parentheses indicate individual concept groups. So:

(all words related to Concept 1), (all words related to Concept 2), (all words related to Concept 3)

  • Next, use OR in between all of your synonyms and related terms within each concept group. So:

(Synonym OR Related term)

  • Finally, use AND between all of your individual concept groups. So:

(Concept 1 Synonym OR Related term)

AND

(Concept 2 Synonym OR Related term)

AND

(Concept 3 Synonym OR Related term)

Tip: use double quotation marks (" ") around search terms of more than one word. So, instead of searching for nursing personnel, search for "nursing personnel". This commands the database to keep your words together as a single unit.


Using the example search topic from above, the concept table becomes the following:

Example search strategy with Boolean operators and grouping mark-up


In the database, it looks like this:

(Nurse OR Nurses OR "Nursing personnel") AND ("Health literacy") AND (Rural OR "Rural areas" OR "Rural health centers" OR "Rural population" OR "Rural populations" OR "Rural health nursing" OR "Underserved populations")

Note: in the videos above, I describe how to create an advanced search using something called "controlled vocabulary." For more information how to use controlled vocabulary in your search, see the Research Guides for DNP and PhD Students. Otherwise, you can skip that step for now.

Ask a Librarian

Live Chat

Chat with a librarian is available 9-5 Monday-Saturday.

You can also contact a librarian.

Call us:

1-888-820-0522 (toll free)

252-744-2230

Or email us:

laupuslibrary@ecu.edu

Provide Feedback on this Guide

Please follow the link below to complete a short survey and provide feedback on this guide.

Research Guide Satisfaction Survey