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NURS 6050 Week 2 Discussion: Week 2 Discussion

Research priorities on nursing leadership

This week's Discussion asks you to choose a research priority from the list that is shared in your Resources for the week.  You are asked to find 2-3 articles that address the selected priority, and based on what you find in those articles and in your searches more generally, reflect on the state of research in the priority area you have chosen.

To do this, you will need to:

  • identify Nursing databases useful for this research
  • identify search terms that will produce useful search results in the Nursing databases
  • conduct a search that turns up useful results on a chosen research topic from the Resource listed
  • assess the current state of research on your selected priority, based on the existence (or non-existence) of results

The Walden University Library can help!  On this page you will find information on a Library Lab that offers live instruction on how to research this discussion post.  See the box below for details on dates and times that the Lab is offered live, as well as links to watch recordings of previous sessions.

You will also find guidance on how to choose useful databases, identify good search terms, and conduct an effective search.  Then, you can draw your conclusions about the state of research for the priority you have chosen, and respond to the discussion post.  

Choose a database

The Nursing Research page offers a list of databases that are recommended for searching for Nursing articles.  

1. On the Library homepage, go to the Subject Resources box.

2. Click on Select a subject and choose: Nursing

3. Scroll down until you see a section called Nursing articles, journals & books.

4. Click on Nursing databases and then click on the link for CINAHL Plus with Full Text to access the database.

This is a great place to find current, peer-reviewed articles on Nursing Leadership Research Priorities.


Test yourself:

Identify your search terms

Before you begin searching, pick out the main concepts from the research priority that you selected. Good search terms will often be the nouns of your research priority. It is useful to choose jargon or terms specific to your field, but that may not always be possible. In the case of these research priorities, the terms may have to be more general: Nurses, Decision Making, Health Care, etc.

See our Choosing your topic guide to learn how to do this. You can also try some of these suggestions, focusing on those that more closely align with your topic:




Quality Improvement






Health Care [Note: Some authors use health care, while others use healthcare. Searching for either form of the term will help to bring back all of the relevant articles.]

Decision Making




Test yourself:

Conduct the search in the database

Here is an example of a search that you can do in the CINAHL Plus with Full-Text database to find articles on the influence of nurses in health care decisions:

1. Once you are in the CINAHL Plus with Full-Text database, enter your keywords in the search boxes. If you need a refresher on how to access CINAHL, please see the choose a database instructions above.

First search box:


Second search box:

Health Care OR Healthcare

Note: Connecting these terms with OR tells the database to search for either spelling.

Third search box:

Decision Making


2. Below the search boxes, under Limit your results, click the boxes under Full Text and Peer Reviewed Scholarly Journals.


3. Click on the Search button to run your search.

4. At the top of the list of results, click on Relevance and then select Date Newest. This will reorder your results so the most recent articles are at the top of the list.

Click to see this image in context.


5. You should now have a list of recent articles on your topic. To open an article, click on the PDF Full Text link.



Test yourself:

Assess the current state of research

Take a look at the results of your database searches. Are you finding a few relevant articles? Many relevant articles? No relevant articles? (Hint: If you don't find any relevant articles with your first database search, you may wish to try a few more searches using other suggested keywords or different keyword combinations, to be sure you're not missing useful results.)

What does the number of results tell you about the state of research for your selected priority?