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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Ellen Wurzbach, RN, MSN, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book provides an in-depth discussion of the significance of Florence Nightingale's spiritual views to nursing practice in the 21st century based on a book she published in 1860, Suggestions for Thought. It also contains a discussion of spirituality and its place in modern nursing.
Purpose: The purpose is to apply Florence Nightingale's views of spirituality in nursing to contemporary nursing practice and to highlight one of Nightingale's lesser-known writings..
Audience: The audience, according to the author, is nurses who are integrating Nightingale's ideas into their practice and those who will do so in the future. This could encompass both graduate and undergraduate students and practitioners of nursing.
Features: The book begins with a discussion of Nightingale's intellectual background and focuses on the major influences in her life — ideas, persons, and events. It then explores critical topics in spirituality such as the relationship between spirituality and religion, the question of life after death, the integration of science and spirituality, and the role of prayer. Finally, the book offers methods of individual transformation. Various spiritual exercises are explained and discussed from Nightingale's perspective. According to the author, the exercises are appropriate for both nurses and patients.
Assessment: This is a much-needed look at the relationship of spirituality to the practice of nursing. It is a scholarly treatise about both contemporary spirituality in nursing practice and Nightingale's views of spirituality and its relationship to nursing care. The book could be used as an adjunct text for graduate theory courses or as an introductory text for undergraduate students. In addition, because so little is written about spirituality in nursing, practitioners will find this an interesting and helpful discussion with applicability to contemporary practice. It is both an intellectual analysis and a practical guide to spirituality for both the practitioner and student of nursing.