You can find many sources on the internet, but sometimes it can be difficult to decide if a site has quality information, or junk information. One way to critically review a website is to use the CRAP Test:
C: Currency: How recently was the website updated or published? Does the site even list any dates?
R: Reliability: Is the content factually-based or based on opinion? Does the site list references and quote sources?
A: Authority: Is an author listed for the site? Is the author credentialed (e.g. RN, MD, etc.)? Are there advertisements on the page? If so, are the ads related to the content of the information on the site (e.g. a critical review of over the counter pain medication with ads for Advil next to it might be suspicious).
P: Purpose or Point of View: Does the site appear to be biased? Is the site trying to sell you something?
If you are unable to answer these questions for a web site, then you should reconsider using it as a source for course assignments and research papers.
It can be difficult to find websites that have reliable information. Your instructors may restrict the types of websites used for a project because it can be difficult to find the author, if the site has been reviewed, or even when it was published. Anyone can add anything to the internet, so it is best to proceed with caution, especially when researching a nursing or health-related topic. Here is a list of sites that contain authoritative information:
This is an important site to investigate if your are interested in quality improvement and tracking--a chief component of evidence-based practice. Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it contains articles and research summaries.
This site has information about diseases, conditions, and other public health matters.
This site has general information about health conditions, clinical trials, and updates on the latest medical research
This site is published by the American Nursing Association and has information about becoming a nurse, ethics, maintaining credentials, and the latest news in the field.
This website, designed by and for healthcare professionals, has several useful tools and tutorials. On this site you can listen to lung and heart sounds, practice taking blood pressure measurements (using an interactive tool), and review reading EKG/ECG tracings.
The Medical Library Association has created this page to collect links to websites with information for nursing students and other allied health students.
Create a free account with Medscape nurses for valuable information from different fields of nursing.
Canadian agency involved in competency standard setting offers dozens of quizzes to help you reach your goals.
Below you will also find a useful guide (in PDF format) to finding quality health information on the internet. The guide discusses search strategies, the best types of websites to utlize, and includes a list of recommended websites.
This website from the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's College of Nursing has many resources for nurses working with an aging population.
Google can be a great tool -- everyone in ICC's nursing program should have heard by now of the "Site: search" tool offered by Google. Just type the word "site" with a colon after it, then the tag for a domain you want to search ("edu" or "gov" will always lead to reliable sources) then type in your search terms: site:edu catheter placement
Another Google tool is a search site constructed for nurses: Nursing Resources Custom Search Engine