UNB Libraries' Guide to NURS*3112


Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) guide to Nurs 3112, Family Systems Nursing.  The purpose of this guide is to help you find resources related to this course and enhance your learning. 

How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge.  If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material.  The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information.  Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted. 

For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.

Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond.  Enjoy the search!

In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more.  That said, not everything you will need will be here.  Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.

For an overview of family systems nursing and examples of this process in action, you might consider:

Family Systems Nursing Re-examined, Janice M. Bell, Journal of Family Nursing 2009 15: 123, DOI: 10.1177/1074840709335533

Positive Effects of a Nursing Intervention on Family-Centered Care in Adult Critical Care, Marion Mitchell, et al. Am J Crit Care, November 2009 18: 543-552, DOI: 10.4037/ajcc2009226

A family systems nursing intervention model for paediatric health crisis, Patricia Short Tomlinson, Cynthia Peden-McAlpine, and Suzan Sherman, Journal of Advance Nursing, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05825.x

The Integration of a Family Systems Approach for Understanding Youth Obesity, Physical Activity, and Dietary Programs, Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, et al. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 2010 13: 231-253, DOI: 10.1007/s10567-010-0073-0


In addition to this guide for Nurs 3112, you might also wish to explore:

Chronic Health Challenges, Nurs 2135, UNB Libraries

Nursing Guides, UNB Libraries

Psychology Guides, UNB Libraries

Article / Research Databases

For those interested in family systems nursing, there are both licensed bibliographic databases, listed in Key and Additional Resources below, as well as major open access databases such as PubMed, a US government database.

These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.

For a list of all databases provided by UNB, please see Articles & Research Databases.

Key Resources

  • CINAHL with Full Text (Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature)
    CINAHL with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 500 journals indexed in CINAHL. This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most used journals in the CINAHL index - with no embargo. With full-text coverage dating back to 1981, CINAHL with Full Text is the definitive research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature.

    Unlimited simultaneous users

  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
    This database provides more than 550 scholarly full text journals focusing on many medical disciplines. Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition also features abstracts and indexing for nearly 850 journals.

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

  • ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source
    ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source is a collection of core nursing and related publications, this database, designed to meet the needs of researchers at health-care facilities as well as students enrolled in nursing programs at academic institutions. All the source publications are available in the ASCII full-text format. Nearly all of them also offer articles in the full-image and Text+Graphics formats.

    NOTE: In certain instances ProQuest has decided to omit particular 'articles' from full-text access due to copyright restrictions or because the item has not met their criteria for being an 'article' (ie. too short, a letter, not attributed to an author, etc.).

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • SocINDEX with Full Text
    SocINDEX with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database. Its extensive scope and content provide users with a wealth of extremely useful information encompassing the broad spectrum of sociological study. The database features more than 2.1 million records with subject headings from a 20,000+ term sociological thesaurus designed by subject experts and expert lexicographers. SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 890 journals dating back to 1908. This database also includes full text for more than 850 books and monographs, and full text for over 16,800 conference papers.

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

  • PubMed
    PubMed is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's (NLMĀ®) database of biomedical citations and abstracts. It includes MEDLINE, which covers over 4,800 journals published in the United States and more than 70 other countries primarily from 1966 to the present.

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

  • PubMed Central (Open Access)
    PubMed Central "is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), developed and managed by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM)."
    Some titles in the collection offer only partial Open Access.

    Unlimited simulataneous users.

  • Cochrane Library (Wiley)
    The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. This database includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Database of Methodology Reviews, the The Cochrane Methodology Register, the Health Technology Assessment Database, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database.
    Access to the Cochrane Library in New Brunswick is through a province-wide license made possible by a partnership between UNB, the New Brunswick Public Library Service and the eight Regional Hospital Authority libraries.

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

There is a significant collection of full-text, public access periodicals available at PubMedCentral and a number of public access, individual periodicals for those interested in medicine, nursing and related fields.

There is also a wide variety of licensed, individual periodical titles available for those in the UNB/STU community of users who are interested in nursing and related disciplines.

The titles below offer a sample of those which may contain material specific to family systems nursing:

Annals of Family Medicine, public access

Contemporary Family Therapy, licensed resource

Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, licensed resource

Families, Systems, & Health, formerly Family Systems Medicine, licensed resource

Families, Systems and Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family HealthCare, licensed resource

Family and Community Health, licensed resource

Family Process, licensed resource

Family Relations, licensed resource

Journal of Advanced Nursing, licensed resource

Journal of Family and Community Medicine, public access

Journal of Family Nursing, licensed resource

Journal of Family Therapy, licensed resource

Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness, licensed resource

Social Science and Medicine, licensed resource

Reference Sources


Dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guides, and standards for the field of nursing and health sciences can be found by checking UNB WorldCat, the Reference Materials collection, and the reference sections of the Nursing Guides, UNB Libraries, or may be publicly accessible via the internet.

Licensed reference materials include:

Black's Medical Dictionary, licensed resource

Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Professions, licensed resource

Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary, licensed resource

Diseases: A Nursing Process Approach to Excellent Care, licensed resource

Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice, licensed resource

Handbook of Pathophysiology, licensed resource

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Family Psychology, licensed resource

The Blackwell companion to medical sociology [electronic resource], William C. Cockerham, licensed resource

Family practice guidelines [electronic resource], Jill C. Cash, licensed resource


Some public access reference materials for nursing are also available online, including:

Health Promotion Glossary, WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1, public access

Medical Encyclopedia, MedlinePlus, public access

Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, public access

[Guidelines relating to chronic diseases or conditions], National Guideline Clearinghouse, public access

Ontario Public Health Standards: Guidance Documents, Government of Ontario, public access

Family Systems Stressor-Strength Inventory (FS3I), Karen B. Mischke and Shirley M. H. Hanson, public access

An Evidence-Based Prevention Resource for Nurse Practitioners, Tricia Trinite, Carol Loveland-Cherry, and Lucy Marion, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2009, public access

Nursing in the Community: A Literature Review, National Health Service, Scotland, 2006, public access

Books / Book-Length Works

UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. WorldCat also includes selected journal articles and internet resources.

University users may wish to try a family nursing subject search for book material through WorldCat.

University users may wish to try a nursing assessment subject search for book material through WorldCat.

Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.

Members of the UNB/STU community of users may access individual electronic titles such as:

Nurses and families [electronic resource] : a guide to family assessment and intervention, Lorraine M. Wright, licensed resource

Nursing and family caregiving [electronic resource] : social support and nonsupport, Anne Neufeld and Margaret J. Harrison, licensed resource

Nursing excellence for children and families [electronic resource], Martha Craft-Rosenberg, licensed resource

Middle range theory development using King's conceptual system [electronic resource], Christina L. Sieloff, licensed resource


As well, collections of electronic materials are available, such as:

ebrary Collections, including Canadian public policy materials relating to nursing; and


Many internet sites offer full-text, public access books and book-length works either as collections or as individual linked titles. Examples of such sites of interest to nursing and health sciences include:

Health and Medicine, National Academies Press

Bookshelf, NCBI, NLM

Health, Electronic Publications, Depository Services Program, Canada


Public access, individual titles include:

Toward an Integrated Science of Research on Families: Workshop Report, Steve Olson, Editor; Committee on the Science of Research on Families; Institute of Medicine and National Research Council

Systems thinking for health systems strengthening, Don De Savigny, WHO

Health and Behavior: The Interplay of Biological, Behavioral, and Societal Influences, Committee on Health and Behavior: Research, Practice and Policy, Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health, 2001

Family structure, child outcomes and environmental mediators: an overview of the Development in Diverse Families Study, Sarah Wise, Research Paper No. 30, Australian Institute of Family Studies, January 2003

Evaluating Family Health Nursing through Education and Practice, Colin Macduff and Bernice J M West, Scottish Executive Social Research, 2003

Internet Sites

Internet accessible, open resources relating to family systems nursing include:

Entrez Search and Retrieval System, NLM

MedlinePlus Health Information, National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

Canadian Research Information System

Canadian Best Practices Portal, Public Health Agency of Canada

Health Promotion, Public Health Agency of Canada

Health Council of Canada

AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US

Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US

Family Health, CDC, US

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, US

Australian Institute of Family Studies, Commonwealth of Australia

Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

Citing Your Sources

Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.

To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor. Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material. The material listed below may help you:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, HWK-REF BF76.7 .P83 2010

APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 2012 edition, licensed resource

APA Style, American Psychological Association, public access

Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors and Publishers, NLM, public access

Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, sometimes called Vancouver style, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, public access


Sometimes you will find a citation which uses an unfamiliar abbreviation or acronym in place of the full periodical title. The National Library of Medicine has a search engine which may help.

NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases, public access

Ask A Librarian

Linda Hansen
lhansen@unb.ca@unb.ca | 506-648-5788
I am located in Rm 210, HWK Commons, UNBSJ. My office hours during the fall term are: Mondays, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm; Tuesdays, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm; Thursdays, 9:30 am - 11:00 am; other times by appointment or chance. You can also send me an email (use the convenient link, above) or a tweet at http://twitter.com/unblibrarian/

Ask Us

  • Linda Hansen  (profile)
  • lhansen@unb.ca
  • 506-648-5788
  • I am located in Rm 210, HWK Commons, UNBSJ. My office hours during the fall term are: Mondays, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm; Tuesdays, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm; Thursdays, 9:30 am - 11:00 am; other times by appointment or chance. You can also send me an email (use the convenient link, above) or a tweet at http://twitter.com/unblibrarian/
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