NURS 3151 Conducting a Literature Review Discussion


NURS 3151 Conducting a Literature Review Discussion

NURS 3151 Conducting a Literature Review Discussion


For this Discussion, view the webinar in this week’s
resources by a Walden University librarian on strategies to conduct a
successful literature search. The webinar provides information on available
databases, the use of search engines, and the selection of search terms. Then,
you will conduct a literature search on research conducted in the last 5 years
on the patient safety problem you identified in Week 1.

By Day 3

Post the following:

For the literature search, describe the following in your

The databases, search engines, and search terms you used in
your literature search

The number of research articles you found on your patient
safety problem that were published in the last year

The challenges you encountered locating research articles
and how you overcame them

Who you would go to for help in your work setting if you
needed help with a literature search

Note: Post a three paragraph (at least 350 words) response.
Be sure to use evidence from the readings and include in-text citations.
Utilize essay-level writing practice and skills, including the use of
transitional material and organizational frames. Use the writing resources to
develop your post.

By Day 7

Read two or more of your colleagues’ postings from the
Discussion question.

Respond to two or more of your colleagues with a comment

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that asks for clarification, provides support for, or contributes additional

Post a Discussion entry on 3 different days of the week. See
the Rubric for more information.

1. Choose a topic. Define your research question.


Your literature review should be guided by a central research question.  Remember, it is not a collection of loosely related studies in a field but instead represents background and research developments related to a specific research question, interpreted and analyzed by you in a synthesized way.


  • Make sure your research question is not too broad or too narrow.  Is it manageable?
  • Begin writing down terms that are related to your question. These will be useful for searches later.
  • If you have the opportunity, discuss your topic with your professor.

2. Decide on the scope of your review.

How many studies do you need to look at? How comprehensive should it be? How many years should it cover?

Tip: This may depend on your assignment.  How many sources does the assignment require?

3. Select the databases you will use to conduct your searches.


Make a list of the databases you will search.  Remember to include comprehensive databases such as WorldCat and Dissertations & Theses, if you need to.

Where to find databases:

4. Conduct your searches and find the literature. Keep track of your searches!

  • Review the abstracts of research studies carefully. This will save you time.
  • Write down the searches you conduct in each database so that you may duplicate them if you need to later (or avoid dead-end searches that you’d forgotten you’d already tried).
  • Use the bibliographies and references of research studies you find to locate others.
  • Ask your professor or a scholar in the field if you are missing any key works in the field.
  • Use Ref Works to keep track of your research citations. See the Ref Works Tutorial if you need help.

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