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Adult Nursing BSc: Keeping up-to-date

Current Awareness

Current awareness means keeping up-to-date with developments in your area of interest.  It is important for nursing students to be aware of changes in health, nursing guidelines and practices, and the law as it relates to nursing.  You can select sources for current awareness that can provide you with the latest news and developments depending on your field.  Below are some sources for you to try.

Academic Current Awareness

If there is a particular topic that you are interested in, rather than repeat your search each week to view new content, you can set up daily, weekly or monthly alerts with a database to automatically run the search and email you if anything has been published since the last alert.  If your lecturer has advised you to look at a particular journal, set up a table of contents alert (TOC) to see what has been published in the most recent edition. 

Professional Awareness

Throughout your degree you will want to ensure your skills and knowledge are current.  Below we list some sources that gather this information together for you, which you can refer to when required, or in some cases sign up for bulletins or alerts. 

Current Awareness in the Library

The library takes a selection of daily newspapers which include the latest business and politics news.  Flick through the Telegraph and Argus for local information at the library counter, or read the national newspapers such as The Guardian or The Times online via our newspaper database. 

Browse our magazines: Nursing Times includes the latest in nursing news and stories, opinion pieces and CPD.

To keep up to date with the library, keep an eye on our blog, Twitter account and Facebook page for the latest library information and news stories that have caught our attention!

Social Media Sites

Use Social Media sites such as Twitter to get the latest information from health groups, government, and the latest news, reports and research.  See who other people are following to build up your own network.  Here are some suggested Twitter accounts to follow:

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary but can also be described as a newsfeed that you subscribe to. 

An RSS feed is an easy way for you to keep up-to-date with your favourite websites, journals, blogs, and social media services. 

To do this you will need a RSS Reader, such as Feedly or Bloglines, or RSS Feed Readers in IE and Chrome, that automatically update you when new content is available.


You will be familiar with using databases to find the latest journal articles on your topic.  Did you know that you can also set up alerts that will run these searches automatically, emailing you the results on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Even better, where the database provides the full text, you will be able to access the article from a link in the email. 

Use Discover to search all the main Health and Socail Care databases - here's how to set up an alert in 4 easy steps:  

  1. Once you had created a search you are happy with, click on the Create Alert button next to the search fields and fill in the form. 
  2. Enter your email address, check the Frequency (how often you want to receive emails - eg. daily, weekly or monthly), and decide if you want brief results in the email, or more detail.
  3. Click on the Save Alert bottom at the bottom of the form. 
  4. Log in again to delete your search alert once you have finished your assignment, or edit it if you want to change the email or frequency.

‚ÄčThis Search Alert will search across all the library databases which are included in Discover,including Emerald and Medline.  You can also set alerts within individual databases if you prefer.

Search Alert on Emerald

For Emerald, click on 'Register' to create your profile.  'Your Profile' provides space that will enable you to save search alerts, subscribe to alerts such as table of contents for your favourite journals or to weekly digests for all journal issues.

Table of Contents (TOC) Alerts

Many academic journals allow you to register your details so that you are automatically sent the table of contents (TOC) by email when new issues are published.  If we subscribe to the journal, you can usually link directly to the full text of the article.  Search using a web browser for the page of your favourite journal and look for links to TOC alerts.

You can also set up journal alerts from library databases such as Emerald, Medline and Psychology and Behavioural Science Collection. These will automatically notify you each time a new issue is available.  

Click on the publications link at the top of the page, find your publication and click on the title.  You will see a button called Share – click on that and choose Email Alert.  You will need to register or sign in.   For Emerald, click on Journals & Books and find the journal title, click on the link and then select ToC Alert.  Again you will need to register to access this feature.

Zetoc is the British Library's table of content service for further and higher education institutions.  You can search for the latest table of contents from over 28,000 journals.  For more information click here.

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