1. Section Editor(s): Coogan, Neil MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CEN

Article Content

Professional Growth in Staff Development, Strategies for New and Experienced Educators

Adrianne E. Avillion. HCPro, Inc., Danvers, MA, 2011, paper workbook, $99. ISBN: 978-1-601460818-5


*Reviewed by:


Christine Waelty, BSN, RN-BC


Director, Education and Standards


Sonora Regional Medical Center,







The intended audience of this book is both experienced and inexperienced healthcare educators; both will find the information practical. The author writes that specialists in staff development often nurture professional growth and development in nurses and other employees but seldom spend the time and effort needed in advancing themselves and/or the specialty. This book includes many practical tips and tools with steps to advance within defined levels of practice.


The basis of describing staff development practice is an adaptation of Benner's (1984) levels of clinical nursing practice, novice to expert. Four categories are compared: (a) experience, (b) education and training specific to staff development, (c) continuing education, and (d) career advancement opportunities. Throughout the text, these levels are used with examples of decision-making criteria for hiring, orienting, and evaluating performance in a staff development department. Identification of the special needs of the novice to expert and practical information on how to nurture or challenge each level are also included.


The author refers to other publications on this topic, and each chapter lists references as well.


The tables and grids developed by the author are available online and easily modified for use by staff development educators. The critical thinking scenarios for a prehire interview and/or competency assessment were well thought out and effectively define the levels of practice.


This book is recommended for use by all levels of staff development specialists.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.


Problem Solving for Better Health: A Global Perspective

Barry H. Smith, Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, and Pamela Hoyt-Hudson. Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY, 2011, 298 pages, hardbound. $70. ISBN: 978-0-8261-0468-7


*Reviewed by:


Michele Noble, MN, ARNP, RN-BC


Education Manager, Olathe Medical


Center, Olathe, Kansas





The editors engaged over 140 writers in producing this book. The contributors are well-qualified professionals including physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in addition to health officials and community members. The purpose of this book is to introduce strategies for improving health in communities around the world in both developed and underdeveloped countries. The intended audience is healthcare professionals, nursing students, and community members interested in improving health in their communities.


The book is organized in four sections: Section 1 includes the statement of the problem and introduces two organizations, the Dreyfus Foundation and the Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH) program; Section 2, "Problem Solving for Better Health: Perspectives From Around the World," describes how different countries have used the principles from the Dreyfus Foundation and PSBH; Section 3 discusses other models for addressing global health; and Section 4 includes recommendations for the future.


The majority of this book is focused in Section 2, where individuals from each country explain how they took the principles from PSBH and involved key community members to identify "Best Questions" about health in their countries to formulate short-term plans to solve identified problems. Challenges included obtaining community support and agreement on what should be the focus of the public health interventions. Identification of the problems worked best when the community liaisons worked together with international facilitators. It was impressive that low-cost community resources could be used to affect public health.


Section 3 focused on use of professional extenders such as trained lay volunteers in areas where there is a shortage of medical personnel. Strategies to involve multinational corporations including philanthropic and for-profit corporations were also discussed, with a focus on corporate social performance and the ethics of involvement in public health projects. This section seemed to be added on as an afterthought to provide readers with different options in lieu of PSBH, which clearly was the preferred method.


Section 4 recommended taking the principles from PSBH and incorporating them into global public health policy and analysis. The book ended with a call to action to implement changes to make the world a better place as well as a brief attempt to pull the previous sections together.


The book was filled with examples of ways that different countries implemented PSBH. It was difficult to glean practical application techniques. A chapter focused on techniques and tips that the reader could implement would be a helpful addition. Another recommendation would be the inclusion of resources for the reader who was interested in becoming involved with the Dreyfus Foundation and PSBH. The text also used many acronyms that required referring back to the initial definitions from previous chapters, thus interrupting the flow of the book. Readability was difficult and could have been enhanced with graphs of data or illustrations of the completed project as well as a table of definitions for reference. The cohesiveness of this book was lost because of the many contributors. This book would be of use primarily as a reference for a scholarly paper on techniques and strategies to improve global health.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.