Skip to Main Content

Database Tips: CINAHL tips


In CINAHL, make sure that you are on the Advanced Search Screen. A few options to limit your search are listed below:

  • Check Full-Text to see articles immediately.
  • Enter your date range in "Published Date From"
  • Check "Any Author as Nurse"
  • There are many more options such as location, evidence-based practice, and age and gender limits. Explore!


CINAHL Advanced Search Screenshot


CINAHL Headings are useful if you're not quite sure where to start your search or have a very broad topic. For example, using the CINAHL Heading, "Myocardial Infarction" will search for articles with both "myocardial infarction" and "heart attack." 

Alternately, if you've finally found an article after a difficult search, look at the subject headings for more search terms. To see the subject headings for an article, click the title of the article for more information.


STEP 1: Choose "CINAHL HEADINGS" on the top menu and enter your search term (tylenol.)

 Screenshot of CINAHL Headings


STEP 2: Select Your Terms and Subheadings. Hit the big green "Search Database" button.

Things to note:

  • The search for "tylenol" redirected to the heading "Acetaminophen."
  • You can narrow further by choosing a subheading. In this case: "Adverse Effects"
  • If you don't understand a term, click the scope note (small yellow dialog box) to get a definition.
  • What does "Explode" mean?
    • CINAHL will search for the headings listed under Acetaminophen (Broadens search)
  • What does "Major Concept" mean?
    • It will restrict results to articles where the subject heading is the main topic (Narrows Search)
  • You can add more terms using "Browse Additional Terms." *This feature appears at the very bottom of the search results of subject headings. It can be annoying to find, but it is there.*
    CINAHL Headings Screenshot of Acetominophen



STEP 3: View your Results

  • Notice that the search has been translated to (MH "Acetaminophen/AE.") The /AE is the adverse effects subheading.
  • View the article by selecting the PDF or HTML Full-Text option
  • Don't forget about the left-hand menu to narrow your results
  • It takes time to build searches. If you want to save your search, you can create a free account

Screen shot of MeSH Search for Acetaminophen/AE


STEP 4: View an Article


  • To view an article in the search results, click the title to get more detailed results.
  • On the left, look for full-text PDF and/or HTML options if they are available.
  • Look for Source: to see the where the book or article was originally published.   
    • If you click the title of the journal, you can see where the journal is published!
  • Look for the Cite button to automatically generate a citation for your bibliography. Double check it for accuracy!
  • Look at Major Subjects: for ideas for key words. Click on a subject heading to a run a new search with that term.

Screenshot of MeSH Search: Article Detail Screen 


Video Tutorials

MEDLINE w/ Full Text Searching

Full Text & Inter Library Loan (ILL)

For instant access:
When you search, check the full-text button Full Text with tick box checked 
or look for the articles with
PDF PDF logo and html full-text full text.

We subscribe to a lot of different journals, but not everything! 

If you find something that you want and we don't have it, don't worry!

Fill out this inter library loan form.


©2023 Georgia Highlands College |