Fostering change, empowering faculty: comments on the NURSLITT study and the five-year rule


  • Eleanor Shanklin Truex Ascension Saint Joseph Hospital
  • Jean Hillyer, AHIP
  • Emily N. Spinner Ellis Hospital



5-year Rule, Date Limits, Date Range, Literature Searches, Search Limits, Nurses, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Education, Nursing Research


The five-year rule must die. Despite an extensive literature search, the origins of the five-year rule remain unknown. In an era when the nursing profession is so focused on evidence-based practice, any approach that arbitrarily limits literature searches to articles published in the previous five years lacks scientific basis. We explore some reasons for the pervasiveness of the practice and suggest that librarians need to engage with nursing faculty, who are well-positioned to be change agents in this practice.


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