1. Section Editor(s): Sendelbach, Sue PhD, RN, CCNS, FAHA

Article Content

Evaluation of Health Care Quality in Advanced Practice Nursing

Reviewed by: Angela M. McNelis, PhD, RN, ANEF


By Joanne V. Hickey and Christine A. Brosnan. New York, New York: Springer; 2012. 247 pp. $65.00. ISBN 978-0-8261-0766-4.


This well-organized and much needed book on the role of advanced practice nurses (APNs) in evaluating quality healthcare arrives at a critical stage in our professional as we transform our role and effect changes in the healthcare system. The Institute of Medicine report (2010), The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, emphasized that nurses should lead change and be involved as key stakeholders in the design, development, evaluation, and optimization of health information technology. This timely book, Evaluation of Health Care Quality in Advanced Practice Nursing, demystifies the "threatening" nature of evaluation by offering a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of evaluation. Moreover, the authors successfully debunk the idea that evaluation takes time and resources away from patient care by showing how integral research and evaluation are to quality and safety.


The authors provide explicit examples illustrating the importance of why APNs should have grounding in and understanding of fundamental evaluative concepts, including economic models, in order to critically read and apply findings. Advanced practice nurses must also have the requisite knowledge and skills to develop and design research projects that influence decision making in healthcare. Additionally, it is important that APNs contribute to evaluation processes as part of an interdisciplinary team. Interdisciplinary teams that include informaticists as members are able to evaluate healthcare information systems and patient care technology and make decisions that influence practice as well as future technology implementation. Outcomes resulting from such collaborative teams will improve quality and safety.


This book is an excellent resource for educators to use for integrating evaluation of populations, healthcare teams, and systems in curricula. Evaluation and, more specifically, informatics are core components threaded throughout The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing (2011), The Essentials of Doctoral Education in Advanced Nursing Practice (2006), the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER, 2009), and in the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN, Cronenwett et al, 2007) initiative. These guidelines call for practice supported by systems that are carefully designed to produce care that is patient-centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient, and equitable and can be accomplished only by APNs who possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to evaluation. The book is an invaluable resource of current best practices in evaluation for APNs engaged in transforming healthcare delivery and practice.


Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: An Interpersonal Approach

Reviewed by: Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC


By Jones JS, Fitzpatrick JJ, Rogers VL, eds. New York, New York: Springer; 2012. 696 pp. $65.00. ISBN 978-0-8261-0563-9.


Political, economic, and scientific changes continue to revolutionize psychiatric-mental health nursing practice, and text books used for undergraduate nursing education must be continually updated to reflect the state of the science of the discipline. Jones, Fitzpatrick, and Rogers, editors of the text, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: An Interpersonal Approach, provide up-to-date and comprehensive content essential for current competencies of undergraduates in psychiatric-mental health nursing. The book, for example, chronicles landmark legislation that has shaped the delivery of mental health services and the roles of psychiatric-mental health nurses (PMHNs). This book is sure to leave an impression on undergraduate student nurses about the breadth, depth, and far-reaching impact of mental health disorders on patients, and it provides an in-depth understanding of a variety of available treatment modalities. In addition, the text will alert students to a variety of practice opportunities available to them as PMHNs.


The book, divided into 6 broad sections with 2 to 10 chapters per section, has 30 contributing nurse authors from across the United States, Ireland, and the West Indies. Each chapter focuses on the historical perspectives, epidemiology, theoretical foundations, and nursing responsibilities related to a focal topic. Feature boxes present evidence-based practice summaries of each chapter's contents. A cumulative NCLEX review, NANDA-I guidelines, and a full glossary are provided at the end of the book. The book also comes with supplemental material for both faculty and students, including hyperlinks to films and videos illustrating content.


The first section of the book, "The Practice of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing," provides a comprehensive discussion of the history of mental health treatment in the United States, including a discussion of recent advancements. This section not only offers a useful background for students but also a valuable summary for any psychiatric nurses who wish to better understand the historical context of the care they provide. Consistent with the book's emphasis on interpersonal approaches, it highlights the groundbreaking relational theories of Hildegard Peplau and Joyce Travelbee. The text brings this aspect of psychiatric nursing to life by providing "How Would You Respond?" questions. The second section, "Health Promotion and Illness Prevention," aptly introduces students to foundational concepts essential to the practice of mental health nursing, including stress response, crisis management, case management, systems theory, and the role of the PMHN in preventing risks and promoting wellness. The third section, "Acute and Chronic Illness," covers common mental disorders as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision,1 as well as the basic principles of evidence-based psychopharmacology and psychotherapy treatment modalities. Students will find the descriptions of the disorders and related treatments to be clear and concise.


The fourth section of the book, "Growth and Development and Mental Health Concerns across the Lifespan," addresses the unique and challenging issues of children, adolescents, and the elderly with mental health concerns. This content helps students appreciate the differential risks, presentations, and treatments of mental disorders in these populations and provides a rich life-span perspective. The fifth section, "Mental Health Care Setting," describes the various levels of care and practice settings in which the PMHN practices. Of note is cutting-edge information on roles of PMHNs in primary care and telehealth, both fast-growing service delivery models that will revolutionize how mental healthcare is provided to consumers. Such information will engender students' excitement and interest in the field of psychiatric nursing and enhance recruitment of future PMHNs. The sixth and final section, "Cultural, Ethical, Legal, and Professional Aspects of Mental Health Care," reviews the relationships of culture, ethnicity, and spirituality to mental health. This content emphasizes the responsibility of the student and PMHN to provide care in ways that reflect respect for diversity, enhance human dignity, and involve patients in decision making about their mental healthcare.


In short, this text provides comprehensive, up-to-date, and practical information needed by undergraduate students in psychiatric-mental health nursing to successfully complete their psychiatric rotation, prepare for NCLEX, and practice as PMHNs. I especially appreciated how the text focused on an interpersonal approach and wove relational concepts throughout each section. One small suggestion for improvement would be the inclusion of several additional topics in future editions of the text, including children in the juvenile justice system and family-centered interventions for multiple family members of persons with mental disorders.




1. Association Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2000. [Context Link]