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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This is a thorough and comprehensive analysis of 31 nursing theories and the work of 39 nursing theorists.
Purpose: According to the editors, it "is a tribute to nursing theorists."
Audience: Nursing students at all levels would be able to glean knowledge from this book. The editors state that baccalaureate students "may be most interested in the concepts, definitions, and theoretical assertions." Graduate students would be interested in the "acceptance by the nursing community, the theoretical sources for theory development, and the use of empirical data." Master's and doctoral students would also benefit from the extensive bibliographies.
Features: Introductory chapters begin with the history and philosophy of science, logical reasoning, and the theory development process, as well as the discussion of nine nursing theorists of historical significance. In the rest of the book, the theorists are separated into four sections: philosophies, nursing models, nursing theories, and middle-range theories. Each of these chapters ends with a case study, critical thinking exercises, and an extensive bibliography including primary and secondary sources for further study. There are also several new chapters featuring international theorists. A companion resource is available, which includes ways to apply the theories in real-life nursing practice.
Assessment: This is one of the most complete and comprehensive books on nursing theory and nurse theorists. Each chapter follows the same format, making it very easy to compare the theories and theorists. The credentials, background, and picture of each theorist begin each chapter and make the theorist come alive to the reader. Birth and, if applicable, death dates are also listed to help the reader put the theorist in a historical context. Other helpful features are diagrams of complex theories. This would be a valuable reference for any student and any nurse who wants to learn more about nursing theory.