NURS 8114 Search-Based Questions

NURS 8114 Search-Based Questions

NURS 8114 Search-Based Questions

Initial Literature Search Plan

At the start of the literature search, the goal of the practice problem was reviewed.  It was important to present information that was relevant to the stakeholders within the organization which help to create the three objectives for the project.  The first objective was to explain the current practice problem within the organization and present information from the organization to support the need for a practice change.  The second objective was to review articles related to neonatal pain management issues in other organizations.  Silo placement for neonates with gastroschisis is one of the many procedures completed at the bedside in this organization. In addition to silo placement, I would want to add other procedures performed at the bedside for neonates. The third objective was to find evidence-based practice research on changes other facilities have implemented to improve neonatal pain management.  This search would also include reviewing the pain rating scale other organizations use as they have implemented the change.

Initial progress

In the initial search, the advance search was used to limit the number of articles.  The date was set starting in 2016 to 2021. The keywords used during the initial search were pain management and NICU. The results of this search included 559 articles. As noted the initial search was unsuccessful.

Walden Resources

Before a second search was completed resources from Walden writing center were accessed.  It was noted that Walden University offers a literature review course called “CAEX 8030/8035”, which is free for Walden students. This is a course that should be offered for students that have been out of school for a few years. As a student, you may need a refresher on completing a research paper as a doctoral student. In the Walden Writing Center area, there was a doctoral capstone research tab that provided information on how to verify peer-reviewed articles. The site to identify these articles is called Ulrich’s Periodical’s Directory to Review. This site would be useful for individuals who are unsure about the articles they are reviewing.

Second Search 

After reviewing some of the resources in Walden’s Writing Center a second search was completed. In this search, the

NURS 8114 Search-Based Questions
NURS 8114 Search-Based Questions

database was limited to CINAHL PLUS and Medline.  The keywords used for this were neonatal pain, assessment tools, and management.  This narrowed the search down to 70 articles compared to 559 articles.  A few of the articles were reviewed then the keywords were changed to neonatal pain, N-PASS, and assessment/management. The change in the key terms changed the results from 70 to 6 articles.


The key terms were modified multiple times during the search which changed the results numbers each time.  Some of the articles were related to the practice problem but there were many articles irrelevant to the topic. It was determined that the term algorithm needs to be included in the search along with pain assessment tools and the type of procedure.


What keywords should be used for the practice problem?  What database would provide the best articles? What other suggestions or advice should be recommended to improve the search results?

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Week 8 Assignment

Ever since my high school days, I have followed a simple formula for writing, which is “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and tell them what you told them.” I learned this method over 20 years ago, and it has stayed with me to this day. Also, my writing format is an introductory paragraph, at least 3 main points to the main statement, and a conclusion paragraph. So at least 5 paragraphs for major papers.

So, in following this guideline, I think about the main point that I want to get across and the 3 main points I want to make. Once I think of the 3 main points, I start my research on scholarly articles that support my points. I have noticed that many times, I need to look up broader topics to my main point to find articles for support. For example, if I want to write about factors contributing to newly diagnosed hypertension truck drivers, I cannot type all that in. I would look up truck driver habits. Then, I would look up contributing factors for newly diagnosed hypertension patients and finally connect the 2.

Furthermore, I see what the requirements are for the paper. Sometimes a paper requires some specific factors to be mentioned. If that is the case, then I make sure to mention it in the paper. Sometimes I write out what I call “the bones” of my paper in an outline format. It helps me see the paper’s structure and what I will be mentioning and talking about.

All In all, I write out my introduction paragraph, mention my (at least) 3 main points, and a conclusion paragraph. I use scholarly articles for study-based support of my main points. The same goes if I am not supporting a topic but making the argument against it as well.

Week 8: Main Question Post

This week we are discussing our literature searches. The first step with conducting a literature search is refining the EBP question. To develop the EBP question, you must clearly define the practice problem and utilizing the PICO format to formulate your EBP question (Dang & Dearholt, 2021). Last week we refined our Evidence Based Practice question. My question went from a combined double question and was narrowed down to a more specific question: What evidence-based interventions have emerged in the literature in the last 10 years for reducing nurse burnout?  Refining your EBP practice question is essential to ensure you have the appropriate key words for your literature search.

As we discussed at the beginning of this course, time management, planning, and organization are all foundational to successfully completing a Doctorate degree. Literature searches take time. Blocking times to work on literature searches (and assignments) assists with completing these in a timely fashion.

Streamlining literature searches can be achieved through bookmarking the Walden Library Academic Guide page. This ensures you can readily access the library resources with a simple click of the mouse and are not wasting precious time trying to locate the landing page for the library repeatedly.

Although some resources are foundational, most of the literature should be within the past 5 years. Selecting the date range when searching from 2017 to 2021 and selecting peer reviewed articles can help to narrow down the results to the most relevant.

Understanding the differences in the types of articles you are pulling is also important. Primary and Secondary sources are different types of literature. Primary sources are the original research. Secondary sources are literature searches such as what we are conducting on our EBP practice questions to conduct a literature review (Walden University Library, n.d.-b).

When conducting a literature search, it is imperative to understand the differences in databases you are searching. For example, I commonly utilize the Thoreau Multi-Database Search. This search tool is not all inclusive, but it does help to quickly review several of the databases for relevant resources (Walden University Library, n.d.-a). There are approximately 15 different quality EBP databases that can be found in the Walden Library Databases which are specific for Nursing. These include ProQuest, CINAHL, Medline and Ovid Nursing Journals to name a few (Walden University Library, n.d.-a). In addition to these, The Cochrane Library and Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) are also reliable EBP databases (Dang & Dearholt, 2017).

Keeping a record of the searches in Microsoft Word or in the database such as PubMed can save time and prevent duplication (Dang & Dearholt, 2017). Obtaining the full text is the next step in reviewing the literature and these can often be acquired through the Walden University Library free of charge.

When conducting a literature search, I sometimes have difficulty with selecting the most appropriate search term.  Sometimes I put in a search term that is too specific or detailed and this results in an empty search. Additionally, using a search term that is too broad can also cause too many results and make it difficult to find the appropriate resources. For example, if I just put in nurse burnout into the search, I am likely to find thousands of results. Using a Boolean phrase (also called a Boolean operator) such as AND, OR, and NOT can be beneficial to narrow topics or expand your literature search (Dang & Dearholt, 2017).

Google Scholar is a free resource that may be helpful and can be linked to our Walden University Library. Dang and Dearholt (2017) caution using Google Scholar as the sole research as journals may not be indexed and searches can vary daily, making replication difficult (Dang & Dearholt, 2017).



Dang, D., & Dearholt, S. L. (Eds.). (2018). Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice: Model and guidelines (3rd ed.). Sigma Theta Tau International. Chapter 5, “Searching for Evidence” (pp. 79–96)

Walden University Library. (n.d.-a). Databases A–Z: Nursing.

Walden University Library. (n.d.-b). Evaluating resources: Primary & secondary sources.