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Nursing : Websites

A research guide for nursing students

Why use the Web?

  • Unlike books and articles, which go through an editorial process that delays publication, websites contain up-to-the minute information.

  • Many organizations have websites that are helpful in linking health professionals, caregivers, and patients with important resources.

  • Websites that end in .gov are affiliated with the U.S. government and contain information based on research (government-sponsored or otherwise). As a general rule, websites ending in .gov, .org, .edu, as well as major medical centers ending in .com, will likely provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Choose the Best Web Sources

Health & Medicine Resources

Here are links to Health and Medical Sciences Resources on the Internet from ipl2: Information you can trust. Narrow your search by choosing one of the sub-categories.

Top Ten Most Useful Websites for Health Consumers


The Medical Library Association finds the following general websites particularly useful (sites are listed in alphabetical, NOT ranked, order):

Evaluating Websites

Information found on the web can be useful in supplementing information retrieved from print sources and online databases. 

However, finding credible websites can be a challenge.  Maintain a healthy skepticism about the quality and validity of all information.

Ask these questions when evaluating websites:

  • Who is the author? If you can’t determine who the author or the sponsor is, and what their credentials are, don't use the site.
  • Is it biased? Websites can be one-sided and advocate a certain philosophy or product. Is the site trying to sell you something? Try to find an "About Us" on the webpage. Bias isn't necessarily bad; however, it’s up to you to see if the point of view is evidence-based and has research to back it up. 
  • Is it accurate? Again, look at the claims that are being made and see if there is evidence, not just opinion, to back up these claims. Be wary of websites that seem to contradict information you have found elsewhere (in books and articles).
  • Is there a date on the website? If the website hasn’t been updated in several years, or no date is given, don't use the site.

On medical/health websites look for the HONcode (Health on the Net Foundation) symbol  This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.  or a disclaimer.

Additionally, search for quality websites selected by librarians. The Internet Public Library links you to informative, reputable websites and is a great place to start.

Nursing/Medical Websites

American Nurses Association:

Cases Database:

CDC: Centers for Disease Control & Nutrition:

Environmental Health and Toxicology:

General health information:

Health on the Net for Medical Professionals:

Mayo Clinic:

Medline Plus:

Merck Manual of Diagnosis & Therapy:

Merck Manuals Online:

National Center for Health Statistics:

National Institutes of Health:

National Library of Medicine:

Nursing Institute of Nursing Research:

PubMed Health:

RxList Internet Drug Index:

U.S. Dep. of Health & Human Services:

Washington Center for Nursing:

Washington State Dept. of Health:

Washington State Nurses Association:


Web Sources for Patient Education Handouts:

World Health Organization:

Consumer Guides to Evaluating Health & Medical Information Sites

Advancing Your Career

Are you considering a bachelor's degree in nursing? The  website below is a directory of online RN to BSN programs.

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