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Lions and Tigers and Nurses. ISBN 978-1-933638-43-0. Paperback, 149 pages, US$12.95. Broken Heart. ISBN 978-1-933638-44-7. Paperback, 225 pages, US$14.95. Amy Glenn Vega; Atlanta, GA: Pritchett & Hull Associates, Inc., 2009

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* Reviewed by:


Susan L. Bindon, MS, RN-BC


Senior Consultant, LifeBridge Health


Baltimore, MD


These two books offer nurses a fresh approach to earning continuing education contact hours by combining serious education with the enjoyment of reading a novel. Both books are easy to read and almost seamlessly feature issues that nurses in many settings encounter and struggle with on a regular basis. The information provided in the books is relevant and can be applied to nurses across generations and specialties.


Lions and Tigers and Nurses explores the very timely topic of bullying, or what has for decades been known as "nurses eating their young." Two of the main characters are a brand new graduate nurse filled with enthusiasm and big dreams and her assigned preceptor, who takes it upon herself to make the new nurse's experience not only memorable but miserable as well. Fortunately, both nurses and many of their colleagues attend a well-timed training seminar on lateral violence and gain valuable insights into the topic, their own behavior, and the toll that bullying can take on an individual or on the staff of an entire unit.


Broken Heart focuses on grief, death, and dying and the impact that these experiences have on individual nurses, their families, and coworkers alike. The lives of several friends and teammates intertwine and are touched by different levels of grief and loss in this story. Relationships develop and grow as the characters learn to cope and to support each other.


Both books offer optional American Nurses Credentialing Center-approved continuing nursing education (CNE) credit: Lions and Tigers and Nurses, 3.0 hours, and Broken Heart, 3.5 hours. The novellas have several interesting features, including group discussion questions (great for a unit book club, staff meeting, discussion group, or retreat), a relevant reference list for additional reading on the topic, a posttest, and specific instructions on obtaining the CNE credits for a nominal fee. Both books give nurses a way to combine a relaxing read with a relevant professional topic.


Although these novellas offer many positives, the story seemed somewhat unlikely at times, particularly in Broken Heart. Some of the nurse-physician dialogue and the nurse-patient relationships are also a bit unrealistic.


This being said, the books offer a unique approach to learning and will be a welcome change for staff nurses and nurse educators looking for a new way to learn or deliver this important content. If one is looking for an in-depth review of the latest clinical topic, these books may not hit the right note, but if one is looking to earn CNE credits while curling up with a good book, add these to your reading list.