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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carol Ann Mannahan, BSN, MS, EdD (University of Oklahoma College of Nursing)
Description: This is a comprehensive trends and issues book for baccalaureate nursing students. It covers a wide array of topics including historical data about the profession and the healthcare system, professional values, specific issues impacting nursing practice, and career management. Learning objectives appear at the beginning of each chapter and figures and tables highlight and summarize key information throughout. In addition, each chapter contains critical thinking and reflection boxes, a section to assist students with transition of the content to practice, research applications, key points, and suggested readings. Web based teaching and learning support are also available at a Web site devoted to the book.
Purpose: The author's stated purpose is to provide a comprehensive review of trends and issues in nursing and a synthesis of practical approaches designed to facilitate the transition from the educational environment into professional practice. The book contains a wealth of information about the profession of nursing and the context in which nurses practice. The practical approaches are not as clear; the focus is primarily on provision of information. However, students are encouraged to reflect on the information through numerous critical thinking exercises, real world projects, and other web activities.
Audience: The author intends for this book to be used by baccalaureate nursing students and for new graduates and experienced nurses who want to be informed about current issues and trends facing the nursing profession. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice served as the framework for the book, which is written in a scholarly and academic style. Most of the 32 contributors are faculty members from a variety of colleges and universities. The three authors and contributors appear to have proper academic credentials for a book of this type but there is no information readily available about their specific teaching and clinical practice experiences. Given the scope and focus of the book, additional contributors from practice settings, regulatory agencies, professional organizations, and even the insurance industry would have added depth and credibility.
Features: The book is organized into six units that guide the reader through detailed information about nursing's evolution, challenges facing the profession, and specific legal and leadership issues. Chapters address items as broad as healthcare economics and as focused as obtaining employment. The epilogue contains detailed information about professional organizations, state boards of nursing, ethical codes, and patient's rights. The online resources available to faculty and students are a unique feature of this book. The quizzes are well written and the reflective exercises and other learning activities will assist students who are willing to work independently. Students may find the book to be difficult reading, however. Lots of information is presented without much color or application. At times, it becomes tedious and difficult to concentrate due to copious information that is abstract and appears quite removed from clinical nursing.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive book that presents current information about the profession of nursing and the context in which nurses practice. The online resources provide additional learning activities and numerous web resources expand the scope and depth. However, this book is weak in application and generation of interest. Illustrations are few and overall appearance is flat and uninteresting. It is not a book that students are likely to select or come back to following the required reading. However, it will provide readers with much needed background about the history and complexity of their chosen profession. Highly dedicated and creative faculty will be needed to make the pages come alive for most readers.