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JCN reviews and briefs books and other media resources as a service to our readers. We do not sell or profit financially from these books. Prices quoted are the original publisher's price. Book Briefs are short synopses based on the publisher's descriptions. Websites were current and evaluated at the time of publication.




Empowering Organizations By Encouraging People

By Gary D. Chapman and Paul White


268 pp., Chicago, IL: Northfield, 2011, $12.28, paperback.


Review: Twelve years into my marriage I read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Chapman. I felt enlightened and understood how to better express love in ways that were meaningful to my husband. Fast-forward 12 years. Chapman and White have applied those same five basic concepts to the workplace. Words of Affirmation, Tangible Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch communicate appreciation. It's no surprise that employees appreciate different things. And, appreciation is important to job satisfaction. The authors write, "The number one factor in job satisfaction is not the amount of pay but whether or not the individual feels appreciated for the work they do" (p. 11).

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Since we each appreciate variations of the five languages, what makes you feel appreciated may not make me feel appreciated. I'll pass on pens, t-shirts, water bottles, or coffee mugs with the company logo. Send me a hand written thank-you note-now you are talking a language I hear and appreciate. I received a note today from a colleague. I tore open the envelope and soon my appreciation meter increased a notch.


The authors' goals in writing are to inform readers about the languages of appreciation, help identify your primary, secondary, and least meaningful language of appreciation, assist in seeing how these can be utilized to improve the workplace, and suggest steps for application in daily life. That's a tall order. However, I speak from years of experience applying the love languages on the home front. They work. That leads me to believe the authors are on to something in the workplace.


Workers want to know that what they do matters. Consider three factors beyond a simple thank-you. "For recognition and appreciation to be effective, they must be individualized and delivered personally," (p. 21). A top down mass e-mail may do more harm than good. "Appreciation needs to be viewed as valuable to the recipient in order to have an impact" (p. 21) and "employees are more likely to 'burn out' when they do not feel appreciated or supported by their supervisors (p. 22).


Many companies wish to encourage and reward team members. The current financial climate makes financial rewards difficult. So what is a director or manager to do? Get to know your employees and find out what workplace languages he or she speaks. "By nature, we all tend to speak our own languages of appreciation[horizontal ellipsis].if what I do comes naturally, the language of appreciation that is least valued by me will seldom be spoken" (p. 127). Managers and supervisors must learn what makes their employees feel appreciated and what does not. "Understanding and accepting your team members' differences in how they feel appreciated and encouraged it critical to your success as a manager" (p. 131).


Appreciation carries over from managerial staff to colleague-to-colleague interaction. While reading, I realized that I primarily communicate with colleagues using Words of Affirmation. Branching out, I recently invited a few colleagues to a meal at my home to speak Quality Time and Acts of Service. After reading this book and the article by White on pp 144 in this issue, I am aware I have work to do, not just work to get done. I need to be more mindful of speaking appreciation to my colleagues in ways that are meaningful to them.


Additional resources include the Motivation by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory, a $20 value ( The book contains an access code; corporate access requires additional fees. The Appreciation Toolkit contains topics like, "Picking up Some Not-so-subtle Clues That Your Colleagues Need to Feel Appreciated," "How to Reward Volunteers," and "Top Ten Easiest Ways to Express Appreciation to Almost Anyone."


Bottom line: this stuff works! The editor of JCN, my direct supervisor, applies The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. She speaks my language and values me as an employee. I try to do the same. We are as different as night and day, yet we make a great team as we value and appreciate each other. Give it a try and empower your organization and encourage your team mates.-Cathy Walker,JCN Associate Editor.



Recognition Strategies at The World's Most Admired Companies

By Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine


149 pp., Southborough, MA: Globoforce, 2010, $24.95, hardcover.


Brief: How do some of the world's greatest company cultures succeed? They're strategically managed using the power of employee recognition. Winning with a Culture of Recognition is a game-changing book about how to manage your company culture, increase employee engagement, and deliver measurable business results.


Winning with a Culture of Recognition takes the misused rewards and recognition programs of the past century and transforms recognition into the must-have business strategy for managing a culture in the 21st century. This book will show you why strategic recognition is the fastest and most effective way to impact employee performance, motivation, and productivity.


Proven strategies provide human resources and business leaders with a powerful blueprint on how to create a positive culture of recognition and appreciation. Download a free chapter at




Eight Bible Studies For Nurses And Students

By Nurses Christian Fellowship


Download free at


Brief: Bible studies for nurses and nursing students are now available online at The NCF series, "What's Vital?" developed by NCF Campus Liaison Bonnie Hann, RN, has expanded to eight studies covering topics that integrate faith, nursing, and spiritual care. They are designed for individuals or for group discussion.


* What Sets You Apart? This study in Colossians 3 looks at some of the distinguishing attributes of a Christian nurse.


* Called to Nursing Care: Find the heartbeat of God's compassion for those who are hurting in this study from Isaiah 61.


* Back in the Same Boat-Again? Long hours, the night shift, and not much to show for their labors [horizontal ellipsis] what can we learn from the followers of Jesus about what it means to be a disciple? Take a look in Luke 5:1-11.


* Remaining in Jesus: How to grow spiritually and build a relationship with Jesus is the focus of John 15.


* Stress in the Life of a Nursing Student: A look at how Jesus handled stress and what we can learn from his example in Mark 1.


* Need a Break? A glimpse of how God met the needs of a burned-out prophet helps us trust God for our needs and the needs of our patients.


* Compassion Fatigue: The book of Philippians offers ideas for how caregivers can keep a healthy balance and prevent burnout.


* Thirsty No More: Insights from John 4 help us in assessing the spiritual needs of patients.




Voices From Iraq And Afghanistan

By Elizabeth Scannel-Desch and Mary Ellen Doherty


296 pp., New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2012, $35.00, paperback.


Brief: This inspirational volume presents the experience of 37 U.S. military nurses who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to care for the injured and dying. The personal and professional challenges they faced, the difficulties they endured, the dangers they overcame, and the consequences they grappled with are vividly described from deployment to discharge. In mobile surgical field hospitals, fast-forward teams, detainee care centers, base and city hospitals, medevac aircraft, and aeromedical staging units, these nurses cared for their patients with compassion, acumen, and inventiveness. And when they returned home, they dealt with their experiences as best they could.

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The book is divided into thematic chapters on essential issues: the historical roots of military nursing, how the nurses separated from families and the uncertainties they faced; their response to horrific injuries that combatants, civilians, and children suffered; working and living in Iraq and Afghanistan for extended periods; personal health issues; and what it meant to care for enemy insurgents and detainees. Also discussed is how the experience enhanced their clinical skills, why their adjustment to civilian life was so difficult, and how the war changed them as nurses, citizens, and people.




By Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, Ed.


283 pp., New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2012, $50.00, paperback.


Review: Beth Taylor is the champion of spiritual care in the real world of every day nursing practice. Her previous books, Spiritual Care: Nursing Theory, Research, and Practice (2002, Prentice Hall) and What Do I Say? Talking with Patients about Spirituality (2007, Templeton) offer great practical insight to the nurse at the bedside. Taylor hits the mark again with Religion: A Clinical Guide for Nurses. In the first half of the book she discusses in hands-on detail how to assess and talk with patients about their religiosity, appropriately support religious rituals, and understand legal and ethical implications of religious care, including the nurse's rights and his or her religiosity. In the second half various contributors offer beliefs, practices, and nursing implications for 22 world religions, religious clusters, and faith traditions.

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Taylor begins by offering research that demonstrates religion is important to people (not just generic spirituality), noting that most often religion helps but sometimes can harm. Her explanation of a two-step approach to spiritual assessment is helpful. Begin with a "screening assessment to determine superficially" (p. 30), if there are religious beliefs and practices important to the patient. Follow with additional more focused assessment if religion is important to the patient, they consent to further assessment, you are competent to assess, and religiosity is important to the patient's health. Competency is based on the nurse's knowledge/skill and the level of religious expression being assessed (public to private). Taylor notes, "Religious conversations with patients can reveal very deep spiritual and emotional pain[horizontal ellipsis]Can harm be done by leading a patient to express such pain when the nurse is incapable of addressing it?" (p. 22) Taylor agrees with nursing ethicist and theologian Marsha Fowler that nurses can cause harm if not equipped to deal with what is revealed. Taylor states, "If inquiring about patient religiosity is meeting the nurse's need or simply curiosity, then there is no therapeutic value in doing so. If, however, knowing the patient's religiosity is important for planning health care, then it is requisite to good care" (p. 66). Although Taylor writes that most nurses are competent to ask patients about public (what religion; attend church?) and semipublic (why they don't attend church) religiosity and that deeper spirituality/religiosity should be discussed with spiritual care experts, she provides insight for the nurse who finds him or herself discussing more intimate spiritual or religious concerns, troubling feelings, and/or guilt.


Something fresh in this book is presentation of legal and ethical perspectives on religious care, including real-world case study examples. Taylor offers examples of statutory law and discusses legal rights of the religious nurse. She gives helpful ideas and ethical guidelines for religious care, stating about proselytizing, "Nurses must continue to remember what their role is and the inherent vulnerability of the patient. That is, evangelism that disconnects faith from health concerns and wounds a patient's freedom is not within the purview of the nurse" (p. 79). A chapter, "Integrating Personal Religiosity with Professional Practice" helps nurses come to grips with how our beliefs impact our care. Taylor doesn't argue that a nurse "must divide his or her religiosity from nursing practice; rather, [horizontal ellipsis]the nurse must try to identify personal beliefs and appreciate their potential impact on patient care and hold these in check as necessary to provide ethical care" (p. 87).


The 22 chapters on various religions range from Anabaptist-descended groups (Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonite) to Atheists, Baptists to Buddhists, Modern Pagans to Roman Catholics. A great strength of this information is that the chapters were written by practicing experts in each tradition, and reviewed by nurses practicing the tradition. So for example, a Lutheran minister wrote and a Lutheran nurse reviewed the chapter on the Lutheran tradition.


Although this sounds like a heavy book, it is an easy read. The book isn't pie-in-the-sky; Taylor gives helpful tips, ideas, and guidelines for talking with patients about religion and spiritual needs. You'll find yourself resonating with the clinical examples. Although the book is not explicitly Christian, Taylor gives fair treatment to Christianity-a welcome contribution to spiritual care literature. She handles a tough subject professionally and realistically. I highly recommend this practical book for students, nurses, and educators. -KSS




By Health Ministries Association and American Nurses Association


138 pp., Silver Springs, MD: ANA & HMA, 2012, $29.95 (ANA/HMA members $21.95).


Brief: This new publication addresses the essential aspects of faith community nursing practice and completely updates and expands the 2005 edition. It reflects the complex requirements, changes, and enduring qualities and components that underlie faith community nursing, healthcare, and the nursing profession.


The new standards build on what is expected of all RNs specifying the who, what, where when, why, and how of faith community nursing practice. Each standard is measurable by a set of specific competencies that serve as evidence of minimal compliance with that standard. The six standards of practice and 10 standards of professional performance are those by which all RNs in faith community nursing are held accountable for their practice.


This document will serve as the foundation for renewed work on FCN formal recognition through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, developing core elements for foundations in faith community nursing curricula and promoting evidence-based research.