Answered By: Lindsey Sinnott
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2019     Views: 960

You can find primary, secondary, and biographical sources for most nursing theorists using APU's library catalog.

Start by doing a keyword search for the name of your theorist, like this: Dorothea Orem. If your theorist has a common name, you may want to try searching with their middle initial, like this: Dorothea E. Orem.

For most theorists, a name search will bring up both primary sources (books written BY the theorist) and secondary sources (books written ABOUT the person's theories).

Most of the results will be secondary sources, which are good for helping you understand the significance of the person's work. To narrow down to the primary sources, click the "Author" link on the left side of the page. That will refine your search to only the books written by your theorist (sometimes you might find videos of interviews with the theorist as well).

You can find more sources by clicking the "Articles" link on the left side of the page. This will show you articles from selected library databases that mention your theorist. Be sure to click on the "Health Sciences" folder icon on the left to find articles specifically from nursing and medical journals, as these may be more relevant for your paper.

Many of the books and articles you'll find will include some basic biographical information. If you need more biographical details, try looking for your theorist in a reference book called American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary. This dictionary is available as an ebook, so you can jump right to the entry on your theorist and even print it for your notes! You can also browse this list of nursing biographies to see if any of them have entries on your theorist:

If you need any additional help, please contact one of our nursing librarians:

Shelley Harrell
(626) 815-6000, Ext. 3220
Graduate, MA:
Denise Gehring
(626) 815-6000, Ext. 5264
Dave Harmeyer
(626) 815-6000, Ext. 3255