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

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Distance Education in Nursing (3rd Ed.)

Frith, Karen H. & Clark, Deborah J. (2013). New York: Springer Publishing Company. 225 pages, soft cover, US $54.05, ISBN-13: 978-0-8261-0945-3.


Reviewed by:


Cathy Colley, MEd, BSN, RN-BC


Director of Nursing Education


CHRISTUS Spohn Health System


Corpus Christi, Texas


The third edition of this book is an updated version of a commonly used text for both nursing professional development and nursing education in planning and implementing distance learning. This new edition includes the latest online tools to help nurse educators produce quality education outside of the traditional classroom. This edition contains 12 chapters authored by various experts in the field of distance learning and will help the educator develop content suitable for the most up-to-date learning tools. It contains numerous resources for additional learning and developing skills to ensure that educators meet the needs of the modern learner and the new learning environment.


The first and second chapters outline the changing environment in which both faculty and the nursing professional development specialist practices, and how both the educator and student must be prepared to use distance learning. These chapters also cover the pros and cons of distance learning and how to make certain that learning is accomplished with the best outcomes for the educators, students, and the end users-the patients. The next four chapters outline the preparation of both students and educators and then give exemplars from experts in the field.


Chapter 7 discusses how to use learning objects to enhance learning based on a variety of standards. The chapter also contains a list of other resources for the planning, creation, storage, and retrieval of learning objects. The following chapters discuss a number of tools such as simulation, including Second Life and avatars; online learning activities, including blogs, surveys, videos (You Tube), puzzles, and concept maps; and "There's an App for That" including smartphones, tablets, Facebook, Twitter, and eBooks. There is also a chapter on how to monitor quality and accreditation in nursing education using distance learning principles and technology.


The only downside to this text is that much of it is directed toward nursing faculty who often have more technological resources, but many of its lessons can be applied in a hospital or health system with a little ingenuity, a few dollars, and technical support.


This third edition will be a great addition to the library of any faculty or nursing professional development specialist who is working in today's learning environment and needs to enhance it with the use of online tools and technology.


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


The Ten-Minute Trainer: 150 Ways to Teach it Quick and Make it Stick

Bowman, Sharon L. (2005). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer Publishing Company. 281 pages, softbound, US $48.00, ISBN: 978-0-7879-7442-8.


Reviewed by:


Joel Ottoson, MS, MSN, RN-BC


Education Service Orlando VA Medical Center


Orlando, Florida


The main premise of this book is "Shorter segments of instruction are better than longer ones and learners remember more when they are involved."


Having been a student of Dave Meier, author of The Accelerated Learning Handbook, I am very familiar with and have used the concepts of audience participation. Bowman's book is a basic compilation of ways to engage the learner. I have experienced both death by PowerPoint(R) and been held captive to play frivolous games. Still, I am not quick to pass judgment on the content of this book. So much of the success of an activity depends on the participants and content of the course being presented. I have had great success with some of the activities suggested with others falling flat. The author acknowledges that many of the techniques proposed could be modified, and training design is reflective of who you are and your values.


Bowman's book would be very useful to instructors who are not familiar with the concept of allowing the participants to direct the learning and who are willing to try a different style of teaching. The increasing use of simulation activities is an example of learning by doing. Bowman emphasizes in both types of training; it is essential that the learning environment be safe both physically and psychologically.


Part II of the book explains the brain's reticular activating system, the brain's functioning, and David Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory in very simplistic terms. There is a large reference section in the back of the book, but I did not see any scientific journals among them. The author also provides a multitude of formats and templates as sample learning plans. The strategies presented are for drawing knowledge out of the learners while providing feedback as to their understanding of the content.


The Ten-Minute Trainer is a "how to" book for educators interested in incorporating games and activities into their presentations. The manual is not meant to be read cover to cover, and the author invites readers to review sections of interest rather than reading in order. In fact, reading the book straight through felt redundant.


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


Claiming the Corner Office

Curran, Connie & Fitzpatrick, Therese. (2013). Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International. 173 pages, softbound, US $39.95, ISBN: 9781937554354.


Reviewed by:


Linda J. Shinn, MBA, RN, FASAE, CAE


President and CEO Consensus


Management Group Indianapolis, Indiana


Many in the profession of nursing have long advanced the premise that nurses belong in senior leadership roles in the healthcare system, universities, government, and the corporate world. Curran and Fitzpatrick, along with seven contributors, all of whom have occupied such roles at some point in their careers, have written a text outlining the knowledge and skills imperative to achieve and succeed in these roles (i.e., the corner office).


The authors and contributors recount real-world work in the corner office that adds to the richness of the text. And there is a recap of the "Executive Leadership Lessons" at the end of each chapter enabling the reader to be refreshed on the points made.


The authors identify a number of skills that are a must for a successful career in the corner office, or what many have come to call the C Suite. Although there are many routes to the C Suite, preparation for the role is a key to success. The overriding message in the text for those aspiring to these roles is the need to acquire financial skills[horizontal ellipsis]not just an ability to budget or read a financial statement but have expertise in corporate investment strategy and proficiency in capital projects.


Among the other skills necessary for the corner office are the ability to


* learn from failure;


* know one's self and eliminate self-doubt;


* articulate the intellectual capital and value of the profession;


* manage complexity;


* manage people;


* communicate, particularly listen; and


* identify and groom "rising stars."



Furthermore, the authors acknowledge that the nursing process provides members of the profession with the skill set of thinking, planning, and organizing[horizontal ellipsis]critical to operating in the corner office.


The text would have been enhanced by an exploration of skills in information technology, healthcare economics, and business planning. In today's world, the ability to ask good questions is also an important part of the armamentarium required in the C Suite. Competence in managing or at least understanding merger and acquisition strategies and financing is a must in today's healthcare environment marked by consolidation and corporatization and should also be addressed in the next edition of the book.


There was little exploration of the credentials required or at least held by many in the corner office. Nurses compete against physicians, therapists, social workers, economists, administrators, and others often with business and academic credentials and certifications in addition to those required for a particular profession. Acquisition of such credentials can be a competitive advantage to securing corner office positions. As nurses may well go from peer to leader when moving to the C Suite, addressing this transition would also strengthen the text.


The authors note that many nurses who have arrived in the C Suite were leaders early in their careers. Those nurses practicing in nursing professional development have a great opportunity to identify nurses who might be "corner office" material and to help them acquire the knowledge and experience to assume such roles. Claiming the Corner Office is a helpful tool to use in identifying the experiences that might help aspiring leaders stretch, grow, and acquire business knowledge and skills.


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


Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education, 4th Edition

Oermann, Marilyn H. & Gaberson, Kathleen B. (2014). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. 440 pages, softbound, US $80.00, ISBN: 978-0-8261-9555-5.


Reviewed by:


Valerie Ventura, MSN, RN-BC


Education Coordinator II/Specialist


Orlando Health, Orlando, Florida


The broad knowledge and skills nursing instructors need to proficiently assess and evaluate student learning in academic venues and in clinical practice settings are clearly and comprehensively presented in this book. The beginning defines how assessment can be used to provide data that assist the instructor in making important educational decisions. Scenarios are integrated to describe the steps of the test construction process. Variations of assessment strategies-lower to higher level-are discussed in detail. The book illustrates how objective and subjective strategies may be used to assess many types of outcomes including, but not limited to, true-false items, matching exercises, case study, debate, and writing assessments such as concept maps.


Validity and reliability of student assessment and how they affect student test scores are explored throughout the chapters of the book. Key elements to avoiding errors that may contribute to student thereby, causing decreased test scores, are listed. The process needed to obtain scores along with how test and item analysis can be completed is outlined. The book also describes the essential framework to provide nonjudgmental formative and/or summative student clinical evaluation. Clinical evaluation is determined to be the predominant method of observing students in clinical practice. Various observational formats such as simulation, use of standardized patients, games, group conferences, and projects are reviewed.


Social, legal, and ethical issues are described in the last section of the book. This section stresses that instructors are responsible to interpret results with an unbiased approach for the results to have a useful quality or purpose, as testing can have positive or negative influences on students. According to the book, grades should be based on vigilant evaluation procedures, valid and reliable test outcomes, and numerous assessment methods. The authors also note that there needs to be clear grading guidelines for students and grading practices for instructors.


Key features:


* Basic concepts of assessment


* Testing and other assessment methods


* Elements of test construction, administration, and analysis


* Clinical evaluation


* Issues related to testing, grading, and other evaluation concepts



Every nursing educator should own this book. It is the perfect and necessary addition to a nursing book collection.


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