Authors

  1. Coogan, Neil MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CEN

Article Content

Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education (3rd ed.)

Marilyn H. Oermann and Kathleen B. Gaberson. 2009. New York: Springer Publishing Company. 428 pages, Softbound. US $70.00. ISBA: 978-0-8261-1062-6

 

* Reviewed by:

 

Nathalie F. Ellis, MS, BSN, RN-BC

 

Education Analyst

 

Medical Education and Training Campus

 

Fort Sam Houston, Texas

 

(e-mail: Nathalie.Ellis@metc.mil)

 

Marilyn Oermann and Kathleen Gaberson have done a great job of clearly and concisely covering the principles of nursing education evaluation and testing. The purpose of this book was to set forth those principles and proper usage of a myriad of evaluation techniques. The book covers the basic tenets of education and adapts them to the nursing/medical environment. The authors outline step by step how to select an appropriate method of evaluation based on the type of knowledge the educator wants to evaluate. Throughout the text, they provide useful examples that assist the reader in grasping the nuances between the different methods as well as proper and improper use.

 

Both authors have extensive knowledge and teaching experience in nursing education. They bring that knowledge and writing expertise to bear in this book. Although the book begins at an elementary level, the authors quickly take the reader beyond the basics and present new and midlevel nursing educators invaluable techniques and tools to assist them to plan, develop, administer, and critique their evaluation tools and educational program. The topic does not lend itself to creative pictures, but the authors have done a remarkable job inserting practical and current examples of test items for each type of evaluation, checklists, and tables and graphs where appropriate, making the book an enjoyable read. Although computer-based testing is addressed in several sections of the text, technology needed to be woven throughout each of the topics as well as how to maximize its use in evaluating healthcare professionals.

 

Takeaways from the book for staff development educators are as follows:

 

* Written tests: gives helpful tips and examples on how to construct effective test questions in different formats and how to avoid common pitfalls

 

* Test administration: provides the reader with the process to design, copy, store, and administer written tests. The authors even provide information on preparing students for testing and how to identify test anxiety.

 

* Written assignments: provides succinct descriptions of the different types of written assignments, when to use them, and how to score them to maximize their use and prevent common grading errors. Also, many samples of rubrics to aid an instructor in building his or her own

 

* Clinical evaluations: discusses the different evaluation methods, the theory behind them, and provides sample checklists to help illustrate the most effective way to conduct and score clinical evaluations

 

* Ethical and legal issues: presents test bias, improper uses of tests, and personal accountability, although covered only briefly

 

* Interpreting test scores and grading: offers basic principles of test interpretation and grading

 

* Program assessment: covers different assessment models and how to use them to enhance the educational experience for both the learner and the instructor.

 

 

Why Retire? Career Strategies for Third Age Nurses

Fay L. Bower and William A. Sadler. 2009. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International. 191 pages, Paperbound. $24.95. ISBN 13: 9781-930538-76-4

 

* Reviewed by:

 

Lucille Raia, MS, RN, ARNP, NEA-BC

 

Associate Chief of Nursing Education

 

James A. Haley VAMC

 

Tampa, Florida

 

(e-mail: Lucille.Raia@va.gov)

 

This book reviews the trajectory of nursing in America and the parallel aging of the general population. The nursing profession and workforce issues, especially those that surround retirement, are the focus of this book.

 

Twenty-first century issues have changed the way we now think about retirement, and Bower and Sadler introduce a new concept, the Third Age, to illustrate a shift in thinking about these years. The reader will be exposed to personal accounts of successful Third Age careers, many of which describe the process of personal transformation from routine jobs to new careers.

 

Principles of Third Age growth encompass gaining personal insight, having a sense of optimism that is realistic, creating and building a new identity, finding a balance between work and play, and finding equilibrium between intimacy and personal freedom. The sixth principle, and most important, is to create caring for self, others, and community.

 

The barriers and strategies gleaned from a variety of models to assist in this transformation are discussed. One model helps the reader identify steps in the decision-making process that are needed when considering a Third Age career change. Techniques and practical strategies in preparing for a new position, interviewing, and preparing a resume that reflects the breadth and depth of experience, as well as a cover letter to gain the reader's attention, were included.

 

As the book progresses, best business practices and creative roles that retain employees are described, as well as roles that have developed from traditional nursing positions and reflect futuristic healthcare needs.

 

Overviews of real systems that implemented transformational career options for retirement-age nurses were shared. Their research that validated the strategies and creative approaches they took in sustaining their nursing workforce is included.

 

The book closes with a call to nurses to be the initiators of transformational change. From local to national forums, nurses' input, expertise, and vision are needed for healthcare systems to continue to operate, grow, and thrive.

 

I thought the book was a unique approach to addressing the nursing shortage and, more importantly, the dramatic changes in retirement years and the implications for nurses. What I thought was not as helpful were the personal accounts of Third Age careers. For the most part, they were about men and women who did not have the same backgrounds or opportunities common to retirement-age nurses. I would recommend this book as an adjunct to other readings on planning for retirement and career transformation.