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Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Practice Guidelines

EBN resources and strategies. (Including useful approaches for students in NURS604).

National Guideline Clearinghouse News

Assessing Guidelines


The AGREE Enterprise has created an instrument that "evaluates the process of practice guideline development and the quality of reporting."

You can download the AGREE II Instrument, including the User's Manual, and also access the tool online at:  

Implementing Guidelines


The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) provides various toolkits related to best practices. 

More information can be found HERE.   

Ask a Librarian

Practice Guidelines

Definition: "A systematically developed statement for practitioners and participants about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances."  From The Cochrane Collaboration Glossary (

Finding Practice Guidelines in TCNJ Databases

The search tips below will help you find references in databases for nursing practice guidelines. For comprehensive literature reviews, search CINAHL, PubMed, or other disciplinary databases without using the limits described below.

CINAHL (database will launch in a new window)

  • Select Advanced Search link before searching
  • Use CINAHL Headings button to find best terms for topic (blue button at top of screen)
    • After determining best term(s), click on Search Database (green button, upper part of screen)
  • On results screen, look in the left frame for "Refine Results" and select "Show more"
    • Scroll to find the Publication type menu (not Publication search box)
    • Select Practice Guidelines
    • Hit Search button at bottom of window

PubMed (database will launch in a new window)

  • At first PubMed screen, enter search terms or switch to MeSH term look-up
  • At results screens, find Article types in left frame
    • Click on "Customize"
    • Find and select Practice Guidelines 
    • Click on "Show"
    • Small window will close, "Practice Guidelines" will display under "Article types"
      • Again, select Practice Guidelines
  • If interested in restricting search to Nursing publications, at results screen:
    • Select Show additional filters
    • Select Journal categories
    • Select Nursing journals

Back to top

UpToDate (database will launch in a new window)

  • Enter topic in search box
  • Select most appropriate review from results
    • In left frame, scroll down to select "Society Guideline Links"
    • If multiple countries are listed, consider starting with United States guidelines
      • Scan guidelines listed for most appropriate sounding title or sponsoring organization
      • If suitable U.S. guideline cannot be found, consider browsing other countries


Finding Practice Guidelines on the Web

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

The British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides  guidance and advice to improve health and social care. Keyword searchable or browse by several different categories.

RNAO Nursing Best Practice Guidelines 

Each guideline undergoes full review every three years and is revised as necessary. More info

  • Simple keyword search using search box or browse by title on main screen
  • Browse by Topic button appears above search box

Other options

Additional professional associations and government agencies provide free access to their practice guidelines, although others charge for them. If searching CINAHL, PubMed, or the above sites does not provide a reference for a relevant clinical guideline, try using Google to find an appropriate association website.

Examples of associations providing guidelines: