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




4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL, 60025, USA

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Tel +1 847.375.6340; Fax +1 847.375.6341


email: [email protected]


Review: The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) was founded in 1992 as the first professional nursing organization to promote the education and clinical practice excellence of nurses caring for solid organ transplant patients. ITNS is a leading transplant organization with more than 1,900 active members representing 32 countries around the world. ITNS is committed to the promotion of excellence in clinical transplant nursing through the provision of educational and professional growth opportunities, interdisciplinary networking, collaborative activities, and nursing research. The society provides a forum for learning about the most current advances in transplantation and transplant patient care. Two membership levels are available; Active membership is $100 a year, whereas Associate membership is $50.


ITNS maintains a Research Special Interest Group (SIG), and the ITNS Foundation offers grants and awards for scholarly pursuit in transplantation. ITNS also offers a Core Curriculum for Transplant Nurses and a Clinical Transplant Certification Review Course. A series of DVD and continuing education credit can be purchased online. Numerous free patient education booklets are available for download on the website addressing everything from taking transplant medications to pregnancy after transplant.


ITNS will hold their 22nd Annual Symposium and General Assembly September 21-23, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. -KSS



Scope and Standards of Practice

By American Nurses Association and International Transplant Nurses Society


63 pp.,, 2009, $18.95 ($15.95 ANA members), paperback.


Brief:Transplant Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice is a foundational volume that articulates the essentials of this relatively new nursing specialty-its accountabilities and activities (who, what, when, where, and how of transplant practice), for both specialists and generalists and those who work with them. The standards themselves, six for nursing practice and nine for nursing professional performance, promote clinical practice excellence for transplant nurses by outlining a specific set of measurement criteria, and provide an in-depth framework of transplant nursing perspectives and priorities.


In addition to providing recommended standards of professional performance, the book's summary discussion of the scope of transplant nursing practice, including characteristics, trends, education, training, practice environments, and its ethical and conceptual bases, lends an informative, broad context for understanding and using these standards. Although Transplant Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice is a reference and guide primarily for practicing nurses and nursing faculty and students, it also is an essential document for other specialists in transplant care, such as healthcare providers, researchers, and scholars, along with those involved in funding, legal, policy, and regulatory activities.



By American Society of Transplantation

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320 pp., Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, $157.95, hardcover.


Brief: Produced in association with the American Society of Transplantation, this 3rd edition is full of practical advice for the next generation of transplant professionals. In addition to five organ-specific chapters: kidney, pancreas, heart, lung, and liver, the book includes essential information on immunobiology, pharmacology, donor management, infectious complications, pediatric transplantation, and general principles of patient management. Clinical vignettes, key point boxes, and self-assessment multiple-choice questions are included in each chapter. Purchasing this book entitles access to the companion website The website includes all chapters of the book and interactive multiple-choice questions for each and figures from the book as Power Points for downloading. Primer on Transplantation is an invaluable resource for all healthcare professionals in the transplant team including trainees, residents, fellows, physicians, surgeons, nurses, and transplant coordinators.




Enhancing Professional Quality of Life

By Vidette Todaro-Franceschi

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256 pp., Springer Publishing Company, 2013, $45.00, paperback.


Brief: Compassion fatigue afflicts nurses working in all caring environments and has become a serious issue in healthcare institutions nationwide. This is the only book to specifically address this challenge and the related syndrome of burnout in nursing. The book presents a unique healing model designed to identify, treat, and, where possible, avert compassion fatigue with holistic strategies and action plans that help cultivate a healthier, more satisfying work environment. Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Nursing addresses risk factors for and manifestations of compassion fatigue, burnout, and other related experiences such as posttraumatic stress disorder, death overload, collective trauma, and moral distress, and presents strategies to mediate and resolve these issues. The author emphasizes ways in which dissatisfaction influences the quality of patient care and calls for nurses to reinvent their work environments to favor compassion contentment. Case vignettes and exercises help readers identify and alter patterns of negativity to reaffirm purpose in their professional lives.


Specifically the book includes description of the positive and negative contributors to professional quality of life; exploration of the multifaceted nature of compassion fatigue and burnout, in nursing; unique risk factors and how to deal with them for nurses who work in critical care/ER, oncology, medical/surgical, and palliative care areas; holistic self and group strategies and action plans to help leadership and staff nurses overcome compassion fatigue and promote work satisfaction; and gaps in education that contribute to the development of compassion fatigue and burnout. The book is designed for nurses in stressful healthcare environments as well as nurse educators and students.



By Gloria Kersey-Matusiak

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312 pp., Springer Publishing Company, 2013, $55.00, paperback.


Review: This book offers a how-to approach to the development and application of cultural competency skills in nursing. It's a book about recognizing ourselves first, and then readily starting to recognize how others (colleagues, patients) are different from us and appreciating those differences. Kersey-Matusiak's unique framework for self-assessment-considered to be a highly important facet of developing culturally competent nursing care-is based on the Cultural Competency Staircase Model, a self-assessment model she developed from more than 30 years of clinical practice in culturally diverse settings. The model has six steps that begin with failure to recognize the significance of culture in planning care, to step six where the nurse has a high level of self-awareness and wide knowledge of other cultures and is able to plan and problem solve. She offers hands-on strategies for moving up the steps to becoming culturally competent.


Kersey-Matusiak's treatment of cultural diversity is much broader and encompassing than thinking about different ethnic groups or countries, like "the geographically displaced client" (p. 143), those with different languages (p. 101), or new immigrants or refugees (p. 197). She examines cultural considerations when patients' religious or spiritual needs are different from our own; when caring for patients with physical, psychological, or intellectual disabilities; caring for the terminally ill; caring for patients with a different sexual orientation than our own; and caring for the poor and uninsured. She helps nurses think outside the box of what we normally consider cultural diversity.


The author begins by defining cultural competency and describing how nurses can use the Staircase Model to determine their level of cultural competence. Throughout, emphasis is placed on developing cross-cultural communication skills and resolving cross-cultural conflicts. The author provides tools for the cultural assessment of patients while focusing on working with both culturally diverse colleagues and patients. Using case vignettes, Kersey-Matusiak presents interesting and challenging case scenarios from real-life nursing situations related to cultural diversity and discusses how to resolve issues and problems. The material is well organized. Each chapter opens with precise learning objectives and key terms so you know what to expect, and ends with a summary of key points. Educators and students will appreciate the NCLEX-RN review questions, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Cultural Competencies for Baccalaureate Graduates addressed in each chapter, and the lists of additional resources.


This is a good hands-on book for any nurse who wants to grow in his or her ability to offer culturally competent care; it would make a great book on which to base in-service education classes in practice settings. It is an excellent resource for educators and students as Kersey-Matusiak designed it for teaching cultural competence in academic settings. Numerous techniques for cultural self-assessment and cultural patient assessment are included. A glossary and answers to the NCLEX questions are provided. -KSS




Devotional Practices For Memorizing God's Word

By Joshua Choonmin Kang

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166 pp., InterVarsity, 2010, $15.00, paperback; eBook $12.00


Review: As Christians we know memorizing the Bible is important, but doing so can be difficult. Kang freely admits that memorizing Scripture is challenging and he isn't offering a quick fix or easy shortcuts. However, he does offer inspiring motivation for hiding the Bible in our minds and hearts, along with some great strategies for breaking down memorization into a workable system. Kang writes beautifully and makes you want to build God's Word in your life. He writes that when we memorize Scripture we get to really know God, saying, "It's one thing to know about God the way we know any fact, but it's quite another thing to meet God" (p. 12). Kang explains that memorization helps us gain spiritual insight and imitate Christ. We become better able to fully and wholly worship the living God in spirit and according to the truth about God (John 4:23-24). We are much better able to fulfill God's mission in the world through our lives.


What's very workable about this book is the content is given in 30 short meditations or devotionals. Each devotional piece reflects on the benefits of memorization and the realities of how difficult it can be to memorize. Kang shares his own journey of how at first Scripture memorization tasted bitter but then began to be sweet as honey; he could taste and see that God is good! He says at one point he joined King David in panting after God's Word (Psalm 19). Rich gems are in each devotional like "Emotion follows motion" in the piece, Take Small Steps (p. 23) and "Your power to concentrate will increase as you continue to memorize scripture and apply these principles" in Practice: Sharpen Your Focus (p. 37).


Kang discusses practical ideas for memorizing Scripture from memory systems to application of Scripture (temptation, wisdom, transforming trials, etc.), to praying Scripture. He talks about "When Memorization Bogs Down" and how to mediate on Bible passages. A great appendix is Kang's Favorite Passages for Memorization that arranges 100 verses according to topical areas such as imprinting Scripture on the heart, meditation, cultivating the inner being, various fruits of the Spirit like joy, patience, forgiveness, and so forth. Verses from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible are given along with the reference for all 100 verses so you can use the book itself to work on Scripture memory.


I keep Bible memory verses in a memo on my iPhone as well as sorted in my eBible (also on my iPhone). I've plugged along for years trying to memorize new verses and recall passages I've worked on in the past. But it's been tedious and, as Kang shares, at times bitter. Finding this book is a breath of fresh air and clear sunshine to my bogged down memory plan. I downloaded the electronic version to my iPhone, iPad, and laptop so I can use it to bring life to my personal memory program. I encourage you to get Kang's book and let it help you with hiding God's Word in your heart. -KSS



How Ordinary People Can Change the World

By Leroy Barber

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159 pp., InterVarsity, 2012, $15.00, paperback.


Brief: It's not everyday that you get a visit from God. Burning bushes, ladders to heaven, chariots of fire, and all that; we look for those stories in the Bible, and we look for them in our lives. When it comes to something as important as what we do with our lives, we think, maybe God owes us a big event.


But, as Leroy Barber has learned through his work in inner cities and with young people, that's not usually how it works. More often God calls out to us from everyday misfortunes and all-too-common injustices, and he invites our response-not just a response in the moment, but a recognition that we have a role to play in seeing God's kingdom come, God's will done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Through the surprisingly normal stories of the heroes of faith in the Bible like Moses, David, Esther, Peter, and others, and through Barber's experiences with Mission Year and other ministries, in this book you'll learn what it means to change the world from your own little space in it.