Hi. I'm Kathryn, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for NRS160. 

Each section introduces the steps you should take when researching for an assessment. You'll find links to videos and resources that will give you the tools to find helpful information and quality resources. Use the activities on the test your knowledge tab to see what you need to revise.

If you would like an introduction to our Library website and services check out:

Getting started with your assessment

The first thing is to make sure you clearly understand the assessment task and what topic you are seeking information for, this is called topic analysis. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.

With an understanding of your assessment task you then need to plan how you will search for information. This starts with identifying and brainstorming keywords.


Keywords Synonyms or related terms 
Professional Competent, efficient, experienced, licensed,  qualified
Nurse Healthcare provider, healthcare personnel, nursing professional, medical professional, practitioner
Disease Sickness, infection, disorder, ill health, condition, syndrome

What are the instruction words for your task? Have you been asked to define or identify or discuss? The common instruction words guide below will help you.   

Does your assessment task place any limits or qualifiers? These might be "in the last X years" or Australian content or peer-reviewed. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.

For guidance in topic analysis check out:

Choose the right place to search

Before you start searching, think about what types of information you need and where you can search to find those types of resources.

Primo Search

Primo Search is a good place to start as it allows you to use one search box to bring back results from most of our Library collection including books, eBooks, journal articles, newspaper articles and more. You may get a large number of results and some of these will be from outside your subject/discipline area. Check the content is relevant to your assessment task before you use it.

Library databases

Databases will help you find academic resources and are often subject specific. You will get fewer results than Primo Search, but they will be more relevant to your subject/discipline. 

I recommend trying the following database:

The Nursing database list has more databases you can search. 

Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

Create a search strategy

When you search using Primo Search or a library database use the keywords and limits you identified above to create your search. Combine the keywords with Boolean Operators or "search operators", rather than searching with a whole sentence or question. Search operators tell Primo Search or the database how to search with your keywords.

Example: Creating search strings using identified keywords, synonyms and related terms.

  • (nurse OR "nurse practitioner") AND qualification

  • nurse AND (qualification OR experience OR licensed) AND Australia* 

  • (syndrome OR disorder) AND (infection OR sickness) AND "ill health"

Remember: you will need to try a range of searches. Don't stop after just one. 

To understand how search operators work check out:


Using credible information will improve the quality of your assessment and may result in better marks, but how can you tell whether the resources you've found are credible and suitable for your assessment? Have you been asked to use peer reviewed, academic or refereed articles? Are you using authoritative websites?

The information below, which includes the CRAP Test, will help you evaluate the information you find, in books, journal articles, or online to make sure it’s reliable.

Reading, writing and referencing

The Academic Skills team help you build your writing, referencing and reading skills to be successful at Uni.

Check out their support and resources under Learning Skills in the Student Portal.

Here are some pages to get you started:

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Your textbooks

Good news!

Your textbooks are available online through the library!

Important Note: You must register to log in and use the ClinicalKey Student resources. Register to log in with Cambridge eBooks to access additional features.  

Access to your textbooks is limited. Follow the best practice in the video below to ensure you have access to what you need without disadvantaging other students in your subject.