CINAHL Help Guide

Covers nursing and allied health journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations, as well as provides summarized evidence-based resources such as care sheets and quick lessons.

Database Information: CINAHL


CINAHL stands for Cumulated Index in Nursing and Allied Health Literature.   CINAHL provides indexing of over 4600 top nursing and allied health literature available including nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses Association with coverage beginning in 1981.  Literature indexed in CINAHL covers a wide range of topics including nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines.   CINAHL also provides access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, audiovisuals, book chapters and summarized evidence-based resources such as care sheets and quick lessons.

Searching CINAHL

Searching CINAHL

  • The default search in CINAHL looks for your exact word/phrase in all fields
  • A better option is to use the 'CINAHL Headings' link at the top of the page to seach for a subject heading that describes your concept
  • Select the subject headking from the list and Search Database on the left.

CINAHL Subject Search

  • Use the "Search history" option to see past search queries, and to combine concepts.

CINAHL Search History

Getting full text

When using Library resources, the FindIt link is your connection to accessing the full text of articles if a PDF link is not already visible.

This short video will show you how to get to the articles you need for your research paper or other University of Minnesota assignments. Never pay for articles! If we don't have it online, request it and we will get it for you. 


Exporting Results From CINAHL

From the Export Manager, you can save or e-mail citations in a format compatible with your bibliographic management software. You can set the defaults for your preferred Export Settings on the Preferences Screen. The selections that are set on Preferences will be applied when exporting.

To save citations in bibliographic manager format:

  1. From the open result or from the folder, click Export. The Export Manager panel appears.
  2. Select a citation style/manager and then click on Save 


Saving Results/Personal Account in CINAHL

To set up a personal account:

  1. Click the Sign In in the top toolbar of the screen.

  2. From the Sign In Screen, click the Create one now link.

    Sign In Screen
  3. The Create Account Screen appears. Fill in the fields on the Create Account Screen.

    When you create a new My EBSCOhost folder account, or are updating the existing password for your account, you are required to create a strong password.

    As you begin to enter a new value into the password field, the strength indicator will reflect how strong your password is using both color and strength value (red X=weak vs. green checkmark=strong).

    When your password meets the requirements, the indicator displays that your password is strong and you can retype the password in the next field to confirm it.

    New Account Information Fields
  4. Check the box to consent to EBSCO's Personal Data Retention and Usage policy.

    You can read the Personal Data Retention and Usage policy by clicking the link. If you opt to not consent to the policy, you will be unable to continue creating an account.

    Consent to Personal Data Retention and Usage Policy
  5. When you have completed filling out your information, click Continue.

  6. If your information was accepted, a message appears that confirms your account has been created. To log into your account, click the Click here link and provide your login credentials. You should note the username and password you created so you can log in at a future session.

Saving Items to Your My EBSCOhost Folder

  1. Sign in to your My EBSCOhost account.

  2. Search for the information that you want to save in your folder. You can save all types of search results to your folder. (For example, articles, links to searches, images, etc.)

  3. Add the items to your folder in any of the following ways:

    • Add one item – Click the folder icon Add to Folder icon located to the right of the article title. This adds only the single selected item to your folder. If you have custom folders in your account, select a folder to add the article to.

    • Add all the items on the page – Click the Share link and then click Results (1–10) link at the top of the menu. This adds all items listed on the page to your folder.

      Adding results to the folder

      When the article result is added to the folder, the folder icon will change to a folder item icon Folder item icon. Clicking this icon will remove the result from your folder.

      Remove from folder link

    • From the Detailed Record, you can add one item. Click the Add to Folder link at the top of the tools menu. This adds only this single item to your folder.

      Add to folder link

Viewing the Contents of Your My EBSCOhost Folder

  1. Sign in to Your My EBSCOhost account and then click the Folder link at the top of the page.

    Folder link

  2. View the contents of your My EBSCOhost folder. Your folder contains links to your saved items in groups such as Articles, Images, Journal Alerts, Saved Searches, etc.

  3. Click a folder location to see the items in a group.

    Folder locations

  4. Click an individual item (for example, a magazine article or an image) to display the full detail for the item.

    Article Full Text

Saving Articles to a Specific Folder

If you have custom folders created within your My EBSCOhost folder, you can specify which folder you would like your articles saved in, when you click the Folder icon Add to Folder icon.

Save to specific folder

The article is added to the folder you specify.

Article added to the folder

When you click the Folder item icon Folder item icon, the name of the folder which contains the article displays a folder icon.

  • To move the article to a different folder, click the name of the folder you would like to move the article to.

  • To remove the article from the folder entirely, click the name of the folder that contains the article.

Removing Items from Your My EBSCOhost Folder

You can remove all the items displayed in a group (for example, Articles) or remove an individual item.

  1. Display the items that you want to remove from your folder.

    folder items displayed

  2. Mark the check box for any folder item that you want to remove, and then click the Delete Items button.

    removing folder items


Auto Alerts in CINAHL

To save a search as an alert from the Search Alert/History window:

  1. Run a search and view your search results.

  2. Click the Search History/Alerts link, and then click the Save Searches/Alerts link. The Save Search Alert Screen appears. If you have not already signed in your personal account, you will be prompted to do so.

On the Save Search Alert Screen

  1. Enter a Name and Description for the Alert.

  2. To run the Alert against a different database, select the Databases from the drop-down list. (Hold down the control key and left-click your mouse to select multiple databases.)

  3. Search strategy - The search terms are displayed. (not editable)

In the Save Search As area of the screen:

  1. To save the search as an Alert that can be automatically run, click the Alert radio button. The Save Search Alert Screen appears.

  2. To select how often the search will be run, from the Frequency drop-down list, select one:

    • Once a day (the default)
    • Once a week
    • Bi-weekly
    • Once a month
  1. To limit which articles are searched, from the Articles published within the last drop-down list, select one:

    • One month
    • Two months
    • Six months
    • One year
    • No limit (the default)
  1. In the Run Alert for field, select one:

    • One month
    • Two months
    • Six months
    • One year (the default)

In the Alert Options area of the screen:

  1. Select the Alert results format: Brief, Detailed, or Bibliographic Manager.

  2. To limit EBSCOhost access to only the articles in alert (rather than the entire site), mark the checkbox to the left of this field.

    Note: When this box is marked, the folder feature will not be available to users accessing articles from the alert.

In the E-mail Options area of the screen:

  1. Indicate how you would like to be notified. Select one:

    • E-mail all alerts and notices (the default)
    • E-mail only creation notice
    • No e-mail (RSS only) - if you select this option, the remaining E-mail Properties will be hidden (because they are not necessary for RSS).
  1. Enter your E-mail Address. If you are entering multiple e-mail addresses, place a semicolon between each e-mail address.

  2. Hide addresses from recipients - if you select this option, the e-mail addresses you enter will be placed into the BCC (Blind Copy) field of the e-mail, rather than the "To" field.

  3. In the Subject field, enter a brief explanation that will appear in the subject line of the Alert e-mail.

  4. Title - you can optionally enter a title for the e-mail. The default value for the Title field is: EBSCOhost Alert Notification.

  5. E-mail [From] address - Defaults to: EPAlerts@EPNET.COM. You can enter a different "From" e-mail address if desired.

  6. Select the E-mail format to use: Plain Text or HTML.

  7. To have your search string included with your results, mark the Include query string in results checkbox. To include the alert frequency, mark the frequency checkbox.

  8. When you have finished making changes, click the Save button.

CINAHL Tutorials


Basic Searching Tutorial (Ebsco). (2018 April 30): 3:18 min

Advanced Searching Tutorial (Ebsco). (2018 May 1): 3:36 min

CINAHL: Finding the Evidence (Ebsco) (2021 June 25): 37:04 min







Last Updated: Aug 7, 2023 10:38 AM