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CINAHL Ultimate Database Guide: Home

Access Database

​Coverage: 1937 to present

Provides full text for more than 1,600 nursing and allied health journals dating back to 1937 and for more than 275 books or monographs. Includes Pre-CINAHL, which provides current awareness and citation information about recently published articles before being fully indexed. Offers access to "Quick Lessons" and "Evidence-Based Care Sheets".

CINAHL Complete Handout

Search Tips

Basic Search Tips

  • An "unqualified" search is a keyword search performed on an EBSCO database in which field codes to search have not been selected or specified by the user.
  • When performing a search in the CINAHL databases, the default fields for unqualified searches are: Title, Abstract, and Subject Headings.

Advanced Searching

  • Subject headings that contain "Non-CINAHL" are not used for indexing; they are included solely for the purpose of clarifying the logical structure of the tree.

Limiters - Popular limits include:

  • Peer Reviewed – Limits search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.

  • Date Published – Use this option to search for articles within a specified date range. Create a range by using the drop-down lists to specify the months of the range and enter the last four digits of the year in the entry fields to specify the years of the range.

  • Search Only Pre-CINAHL This limiter in the "Search Options" area on the main search page limits a search to records only in Pre-CINAHL. Pre-CINAHL includes records that are not yet 100% indexed. These records are in process, and they do not have subject headings applied yet.


  • You can set up a personal account in EBSCOhost, EBSCO Discovery Service, and a number of EBSCO's unique research interfaces.
  • Whenever you sign in to any of these interfaces, you will be able to save search results, persistent links to searches, search alerts, journal alerts, and web pages to your personal My EBSCOhost folder.

Frequently Asked Question

What journals am I searching when I choose a geographic subset?

From the following linked downloadable spreadsheet, you can see the sum of the journals that are included in each of the 10+ geographic subsets.