For busy nursing students looking for resources to make their studies easier, there are often two options: online library resources provided by your school or using a search engine.
Both of these tools are easily accessible through a computer. Both can provide fast results. But only one can guarantee reputable resources for college students and offer individual guidance and research support.
The Trouble with Search Engine Research
All information found online is not created equal. This is especially important for college students to understand.
Today’s professional nursing practice is built upon evidence-based information to provide the most current, safe and compassionate care for all clients. Because of this, nursing school assignments must also be based upon current evidence and research specific to nursing, which can be found in a school’s online library.
While plenty of valuable information can be found on the Web, a large amount of it is not appropriate for scholarly use; especially for nursing use. There are no filters as to what is published, which means the quality of information can vary widely and excellent resources can be found right alongside the most questionable.
When using the Internet for research, nursing students need to operate on the premise of “student beware” and learn the skills necessary to critically evaluate all resources prior to use in their academic assignments.
But when using an online library, that step of critical evaluation is taken out of the equation as scholars, publishers, librarians and the college have already approved all sources. This means that the information is more relevant to nursing and is evidence-based.
In short, every single online library resource has been evaluated in one way or another before you ever lay eyes on it.
Access the Online Library Early
Being aware of the benefits of online libraries is a good start. But it’s also important to become familiar with your school’s online library.
A far cry from the card catalog or Dewey Decimal System, online libraries are sophisticated, organized by databases, eBooks and offer links to systematic reviews.
For Chamberlain College of Nursing students, the online library offers a link to a host of tutorials and tools to learn the library. You’ll also have access to master’s level clinical library specialists who are available to assist you by phone, email and live chat. They can help you become more comfortable with the use of the library.
Using a search engine to find those few solid resources for an assignment is easily comparable to looking for a needle in a haystack. But using an online library arms you with the ability to rapidly narrow and expand searches in scholarly databases.
Taking the time to learn how to use the online library can save you hours each week in the long run and provides you with appropriate evidence-based information more specific to nursing. You’ll be able to spend more time on assignments and less time looking for materials to base them on.
By Ryan Segovich
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