Library resources for nursing and midwifery

If you’re looking for knowledge and evidence to support your work, development, study and research, through your nursing and midwifery career, you’ve come to the right place.

Below is whole range of resources – all available free from your NHS knowledge and library services, for anyone working or studying in England.

Where do I start?

Your free NHS OpenAthens account is your key to unlocking digital knowledge resources.

If you need help to register or renew your account watch our short video for help.

Finding information

NHS Knowledge and Library Hub 

Connecting you seamlessly to a range of high-quality knowledge and evidence resources all in one place, the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub is a single gateway to 1000s of journals, ebooks, clinical decision support and databases like CINAHL and Medline. 

For quick access to high-quality clinical evidence, guidelines and systematic reviews, try Trip.

For more advanced searching, use CINAHL, British Nursing Index, AMED and Emcare. Go to our Resources for advanced searching page for more information and links to training. 

If you’re new to literature searching, or need a refresher, why not try this e-learning course: How to search the literature effectively

Clinical decision support and evidence summaries 

BMJ Best Practice is an award-winning online decision-support tool for use at the point of care. BMJ Best Practice draws on the latest evidence-based research to offer step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. It gives you a second opinion in an instant and supports your continuing professional development. 

Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures has been the definitive guide to clinical nursing skills for over three decades. Written by nurses, for nurses, it sets the gold standard for effective, patient-focussed nursing care and includes over 350 evidence-based clinical procedures related to every aspect of care, from handwashing to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

Clinical Knowledge Summaries is geared towards primary care practitioners and provides accessible summaries of the current evidence base and practical guidance on over 370 topics. 

Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines is the essential evidence-based prescribing guidelines on the safe and effective prescribing of psychotropic agents. 

e-books and journals

You have access to thousands of journals in nursing and midwifery. It’s easy to access articles through the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub and databases for advanced searching. You can also install LibKey Nomad on your device for easy access to journal literature when you search the web and platforms like Google Scholar. 

OUP handbooks and textbooks 

All staff and students on placement in the NHS have access to a collection of Oxford Medicine e-books including over 20 titles for nurses and midwives such as: 

  • Emergencies in Adult Nursing 
  • Oxford Handbook of Mental Health Nursing 
  • Oxford Handbook of Midwifery 


Kortext is an e-book platform that gives you access to hundreds of books for NHS staff and learners including collections on sustainability, wellbeing and resilience and equality and diversity. There are lots of books on the Kortext platform for nurses and midwives including: 

  • Nurses’ clinical decision making 
  • The nurse mentor’s handbook 
  • Communication in Nursing and Healthcare 
  • Critical resilience for nurses 
  • How to survive your nursing or midwifery course 
  • Leadership, management and team working in nursing 
  • Midwifery skills at a glance 

Watch this short video to learn more. 

Health literacy and patient information

Did you know that 43% of adults aged 16-65 struggle with text-based health information and that increases to 61% if the information also includes numbers?

If you want to know more, take this 30 minute e-learning course which includes simple tools that can help increase understanding.

We have also co-produced two easy read guides to download and share designed to help people to navigate healthcare. ‘Get ready to talk about your health’ prepares people for what to do before they go for a consultation with any health or care provider. ‘3 questions for better health’ suggests important questions to ask during an appointment.

To help you, your patients and their families and carers with general health and wellbeing we have collected books and online links – take a look at our Uplifting Resources and Your Health Collection.

Learning from ‘know how’

Some knowledge is not published but is individual or organisational ‘know how’. The NHS Knowledge Mobilisation Framework is designed to help you develop and use skills to mobilise knowledge effectively to help sharing and learning.

What else can I expect from my library? 

Your local NHS knowledge and library service can help you to make the most of these resources. They will often offer additional services including carrying out evidence searches and helping you to keep up-to-date. Visit your library for space to study, work and connect with your peers and the evidence. 

How do I find my library? 

Go to HLISD to find your local knowledge and library service. 

You may also have access to other additional resources your university if you’re currently a student or your professional body, such as:

Royal College of Nursing Library

Royal College of Midwives Library and Information Services

Download the flyer

We have summarised this information in a PDF with live links to some of the key information above.

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