Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Nursing Tools


The purpose of this section is to:

  • Give you an idea of the free clinical resources out there in the world
  • Direct you to services that can help you obtain articles
  • Suggest a few tools to help you keep current and collaborate with colleagues

Access to Resources After Graduating

The bad news

Duke graduates can use their NetID and email account for one year after graduation; however, your NetID access is limited.  This means you won't be able to access databases like CINAHL, Up to Date, or download software like Endnote.  And, you will no longer have access to Duke University's journal or textbook subscriptions that you have been using to get full text articles.

The alumni office is offering a very limited set of resources. It won't be very helpful to you, but it's worth checking out as it is free.  

What does this mean for you?  
You will have to have a plan for how to get your hands on copies of journal articles to support your evidence-based practice.

Before you lose access to everything Duke offers, here are something you should do to prepare.

To-do List before Leaving Duke

Things to Do Before You Leave:

Copy or move any documents stored on Duke drives, Box & emails.


Evaluate your citation manager needs. If you are using Endnote, double-check that you have the most current version before you leave. This will last you for a few years, but then you'll have to purchase it again at some point, which will cost $250 – $300. But there are free options out there like Zotero that are totally worth exploring!

Go through your saved references. Are there any you want to keep? Are there any you'd like the PDFs for? Do this before you leave!


Apply for an Alumni email address if you would still like a Duke email.

Free Library Resources

Free Resources: Through the Library

Even after you've left Duke you can still use the library's homepage! We have put together a guide of free resources to give you a starting place when navigating the real world.


On the webpage and guide, there will still be quite a few things you will be able to get to. For example, on the webpage, there are tip sheets and tutorials to help you use PubMed, CINAHL, and other resources under the "Use Databases" section of this webpage.

Our Alumni Services page may also be useful.


If you are going be in the area, you can still use the physical library as well. This also includes our computers, which will give you some full text access to articles through our databases.


Don't be shy to contact us with questions and to ask for advice on accessing resources.  We will do what we can to help!

Other Free Resources

Other Free Resources

While we have a full list of free resources here, these are some worth a special note:

1. PubMed Central (database for full-text articles)

PubMed as the database will always be freely available to you – you'll just be missing access to most full text. PubMed Central is a sub-section of PubMed that is guaranteed to have the full text! But buyer beware: not all of these articles are from peer-reviewed journals. Critical appraisal will be important.

2. Endnote Click or Unpaywall (web browser extensions for finding full-text)

These are extensions that you can add to your browser to help find some full text.  It will search for open access or other freely available options – it may also be able to sync with your institution's subscriptions.

3. Zotero (free alternate citation manager)

If you leave Duke and don't want to pay $250-$300 to maintain an Endnote subscription, check out Zotero! It is a free-to-use program that is user friendly and works well with Word or Google Docs. Contact the library if you would like help shifting your library from Endnote to Zotero.

Free Databases to search

In addition to PubMed Central, there are a few other places you can go to find full-text articles. Try a couple of these to get familiar with them!


This Database is great for...



This database provides great overview, textbook-like information on many different topics. All the information is evidence-based. Please note that you will need to create a free account to gain full access.



Medline Plus


Think of this website like a better, evidence-based version of WebMD. It has a lot of great overview information as well as resources to provide patients and other healthcare consumers.



(Directory of Open Access Journals)


DOAJ has free full text for a variety of vetted open access journals that cover many subjects and languages.