Help-how to do Literary Review

  1. I have the opportunity to help out a teacher by looking up any and all articles on a particular topic. The problem is that I haven't been able to find much info. It's on Predicting the success of ADN programs passing the NCLEX. My usual resources aren't finding hardly anything. Help please!
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    About dosamigos76

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 394; Likes: 40
    Patient Care Manager-Hospice
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Hospice


  3. by   Agnus
    try CINAHL.
    When we do a literature search we very often discover there is not a lot on the subject. This is not an indication of a poor search. If you go through CINAHL thoroughly and find next to nothing then it is reasonable to assume there is next to nothing and this should be mentioned by the person writing up the literature review.
    Identifying gaps in the literature on a subject are part of the review process.
    Your review should extend back at least 10 years. However, if there is limited info you may need to go further back.

    Since NCLEX sucess is a time sensitive subject. Having to go back more than 10 (even 5 on this subject) should be identified as a gap.
  4. by   Agnus
    Ask if she wants to know since the inception of the ADN program or how far she wants to go back.
    You can get to CINAHL through your school's library computer system.

    I should probably explain. That CINAHL is an index to literature specific to nursing. it covers somthing like 800+ journals and > 215,000 other records.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 14, '03
  5. by   gwenith
    Try CINAHL but also go throuth the thesaurus and "explode" the topic - you probably have already tried different combiations permutations of the words.

    Another ressource could be goverment records - try the registration boards - quite a few should be online.

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   dosamigos76
    Agnus and Gwenith both-Thank you! You both have great informative answers! I was at a loss, but now you both have given me some direction. Research-at least as little as I know about it- is fun! Yeah, I'm sick lol.
    Thank you both so very much.
  7. by   dosamigos76
    Okay, I have a question. I am to provide her a list of articles, do I just copy and paste the whole info provided by Cinahl? What do you think? PS-I'm not in the Nursing Program yet, just finishing my prerequisites this this is quite a learning experience for me, and an honor. I don't want to appear totally foolish here.
    Thanks again!
  8. by   llg
    While a CINAHL search is prbably the best place to start, you should probably dig deeper. CINAHL does NOT include books or book chapters. Also, and perhaps more relevant with this subject matter, it doesn't include everything in the realm of conference procedings, organizational reports, etc.

    Too often, students and other beginners just do a quick search of a computerized database of titles and/or major subject heads -- thereby only skimming the surface. For example, someone may have written an entire book on the topic and it would never show up on a CINAHL search.

    One of the easiest ways to start digging deeper is to actually look at some of the best articles you find through a search such as CINAHL -- and look at the references used by that author. Do that with several different, recent articles and you start to develop a deeper list of the relevant literature.

    You should also to a search specific to books, conference procedings, etc. Your librarian should be able to help you access the relevant databases.

    Finally, you should ask the faculty member how deep he/she wants you to go. She might be satisfied with a simple CINAHL search, but she might want a whole lot more. Also, as he/she is probably already familiar with the topic, he/she may be able to point you in the right direction to specific websites, books, etc. to start digging.

    Good luck!
  9. by   dosamigos76
    Thanks! I will take your advice as well as those that have been offered. This is a great learning (and frustrating) experience for me.
  10. by   purplemania
    State Boards usually make public this information (Texas does). Check out the various websites. ( and look for statistics.
  11. by   Agnus
    Near the end of my ADN program our class took an exam put out by the National League for Nursing (NLN). It was based an the NCLEX and its sole purpose was to predict our probable sucess on the NCLEX.
    You might try checking with the NLN
  12. by   dosamigos76
    Thanks. Apparently the information she wants is on ADN programs and what they do to ensure success on the NCLEX. I've not found much info on that particular line of thought. Found lots of predictors of what kinds of students are most likely to succeed and other information. I'll keep looking tomorrow.....I really appreciate all of your all's suggestions and comments. You are an awesome bunch!
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    Check out these resources from Online Journal of Issues in Nursing:

    Barbara F. Schloman, PhD, AHIP (April 22, 2002)

    Finding health information on the Web
    by Barbara F. Schloman (Aug. 19, 1999)

    OJIN: Information Resources Column