1. Ruth-Sahd, Lisa A. DEd, RN, CCRN, CEN, CNE, CCFP, ANEF

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Fontaine, D. K., Cunningham, T., & May, N. (Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, 2021)


Dorrie K. Fontaine, Tim Cunningham, and Natalie May as well as the many highly regarded contributors have published a timely book and workbook for new and student nurses. I would suggest that this e-book presented by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is useful to all nurses, new and experienced. These authors and contributors have amassed a compendium of resources in their e-book, instructor guide, and student workbook that provides material for all nurses in clinical practice, education, and leadership roles. This is such a timely publication for the profession of nursing. Nursing programs should consider using this e-book and workbook in education as a way to foster and impart the necessity of self-care.


This e-book is divided into 5 sections. Section 1 deals with fundamentals. It uses a comprehensive approach to the fundamentals of stress, burnout, and self-care and why it matters. The fundamentals of resilience growth and wisdom show how to develop a resilient mindset using appreciative practices. This section also covers a community resiliency model, which is an approach to mental wellness for nursing students and new graduate nurses.


Section 2 discusses the mind of a nurse and covers self-care, communal care, and resilience among underrepresented minority nursing professionals and students. This section is very comprehensive and includes self-care for LGBTQ+ nursing students and nurses struggling with identities, and shares narrative practice and mindful compassion, as well as strengths-based care, encouraging nurses to hone in on their strengths and put them to use for the care of patients and themselves. This section suggests music and poetry and focuses on it taking a village to raise a nurse. There are many poignant self-stories that are shared by the authors as a strategy to reinforce content and connect with the reader.


Section 3 provides details regarding the body and spirit of a nurse and really focuses on helping the nurse reclaim, recall, and remember spirituality as a means of self-care. Nurses are reminded in this section of the basic human needs such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Other topics covered in this section are the 6 steps to compassion such as practicing tai chi, reflection on self, and clinical practice.


Section 4 covers transition to nursing practice, which helps the nurse bridge the gap between education and practice. This section starts with a chapter that covers supportive professional relationships, highlighting mentoring and nurse residency programs. In chapter 17, Fontaine discusses the heart of the nurse and creating a rich work-life balance. Standards for a healthy work-life environment are presented through the lens of the American Association for Critical Care Nurses. Fontaine not only covers what it is but also reinforces why this should be important to the nurse. The e-text highlights how to select a healthy work-life environment and suggests compassionate care and the importance of sowing seed of resilience to reduce nurse burnout.


Section 5 talks about the heart of a nurse, the need to create a rich work life, and the need to integrate a life that works with a life that counts. One strategy offered is to show up with grit and grace and emphasizes how to be an effective leader under pressure. Each section ends with closing thoughts and key points to reinforce section contents. This book is a practical source of information for all nurses and other personnel who are involved in patient care.


Many suggestions made in the book are then reinforced in the instructor's guide and in the easy-to-use student workbook. The instructor guide has teaching strategies as well as thoughts on the assignments and classroom activities, which could be adapted for the onboarding of new nurses. The instructor guide has many question prompts with answers included. The student workbook provides assignment, reinforces the why, and provides activities for the student to do as a means of reinforcing the content. Some of the activities include self-analysis, reflective journaling, reframing, and practicing gratitude.


This book is a comprehensive, essential resource for all nurses. I am certain that, although intended for students and new nurses, it will be a resource for staff development, nurse leaders, and managers.