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Collection Development Policy


Deb Werner
April 2009


Brief overview of the collection

      History: In July, 2007, a separate nursing monographs fund was created to increase support of the nursing collection.  The creation of the monographic fund followed prior and ongoing efforts to support the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) nurses, in conjunction with their bid to achieve Magnet Recognition status.  Magnet status is the highest level of recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which they achieved in February, 2007.  The nursing collection is a part of the medical collection; for a full history of the medical collection see the Medical Sciences Policy Statement.

      Broad subject areas emphasized or de-emphasized: Historically, nursing materials have been collected in the areas of research and theory.  Similar to the broader medical collection, few clinical and patient care materials were collected. Recently, efforts have been made to enhance coverage in the areas of clinical nursing, as well as professional practice and development. In addition to research and theory, areas of emphasis currently include evidence-based practice, nursing education/teaching, nursing process, and individual clinical specialties, especially the current areas of focus: oncology, women's health, pediatrics, and medical/surgical & critical care.

      Description of academic program: There is no degree-granting department or committee associated with nursing.  However, the UCMC, through The Center for Nursing Professional Practice and Research, supports new nursing graduates with its Nurse Residency Program.

      Audience/Purpose: The nursing collection supports the research and practice needs of the UCMC nurses, and provides support for patient care by nurses and other UCMC health care professionals.  It also supports the UCMC’s Center for Nursing Professional Practice and Research.


Collecting guidelines

      Levels of selection: Comprehensive, research, instructional support, basic information; for a description of these levels, see the general policy statement.

Nursing materials class in RT1-120, however, materials focusing on the nursing aspect of medical topics are classed with the specific topic.

RT1-120 Nursing

Research level

Nursing informatics (RT50.5)

Nursing research (RT81.5)

Nursing theory, nursing philosophy, nursing models (RT84.‚Äč5

Instructional support level (representative level)

Nursing assessment (RT48 - RT48.6)

Nursing diagnosis (RT48.6)

Nursing standards, includes Nursing Outcomes Classification (RT85.5)

Nursing ethics (RT85)

Nursing practice (RT86.7)

Nurse practitioners, includes all advanced practices nurses (RT82.8)

Basic information

Nursing care plans (RT49)

Nurse and patient (RT86.3)

Nursing records, including documentation (RT50)

Nursing schools (RT71 - RT81)


RT89-120 Specialties in nursing

Research level

Nursing administration, including management and leadership (RT98)

Instructional support level (representative level)

Public health nursing (RT97)

Community health nursing (RT98)

Emergency nursing (RT120.E4)

Intensive care nursing, including critical care nursing (RT120.I5)

Teaching, including nursing education and patient education (RT90)

Basic information

Family nursing (RT120.F34)

Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes (RT120.L64)

Public health nursing (RT97)

Community health nursing (RT98)

Rehabilitation nursing (RT120.R4)


      Type of materials included & excluded:  Scholarly journals, monographs, and serials, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, are actively collected. Textbooks are collected selectively. The following types of materials are excluded, although occasional exceptions are made: licensure examination guides, pamphlets, patient education materials, popular/mass market materials, dissertations from institutions other than the University of Chicago, loose-leaf publications, posters, newsletters, pocket-size books, self-instructional texts, most spiral-bound publications, syllabi, and workbooks.

      Physical formats included & excluded: The print monograph is usually preferred over e-books, due to nurses’ limited remote access capabilities (often unable to print or save).  However, online (web-based, electronic format) reference works, which are assumed to be accessed mainly at the Medical Center, are usually preferred over print.  Criteria for format selection for online monographs and reference works are: fully searchable text, availability on established platforms already in use by University of Chicago users, persistent URLs and/or availability of MARC records for access and discovery, options for purchase and lease of monograph titles, and one-time purchase option. E-journals are preferred over print when it is an acceptable equivalent, and the purchase of e-journal backfiles is highly desirable. Materials in other formats (CD-ROM, DVD, or other audio-visual materials) are purchased occasionally, usually by request, with preference given to the most current technology available.  The online format, however, is strongly preferred over the physical electronic media. 

      Publication dates collected: Emphasis is given to the acquisition of current materials.  Recently published materials are given top priority, and consideration is given to monographs published during the last 3-5 years. Older monographs are acquired more selectively.  For periodicals, current access to the most recent issues of research journals is the highest priority. Retrospective purchasing is done if funding allows, with acquisition of electronic journal backfiles the top priority.

      Languages:  Materials are collected primarily in English.  Exceptions include monographs purchased on non-nursing funds.  Examples include foreign language materials which are received as part of a series or electronic monograph and serials packages.

      Geographical range: The focus is on materials treating U.S. nursing practice.

      Chronological span: Chronological periods are not usually aspects of nursing works, and so are not systematically considered. History of nursing, which includes reference to chronological periods, falls under the purview of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine collection policy statement.


Related University of Chicago collections

Nursing is an interdisciplinary profession and the collection is complemented by materials in medicine, psychology, and to a lesser degree, social services.

Subject Specialist

Profile Photo
Deb Werner
Director of Library Research in Medical Education
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 268