1. Hanrahan, Patricia M. PhD, RN
  2. Lages, Deborah MSN, RN

Article Content


Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 40 Tall Pine Dr., Sudbury, MA 01776, Tel: (800) 832- 0034; (978) 443-5000; Fax: (978) 443- 8000. E-mail: info@jbpubcom; Web site: 2006, 460 pp., softbound, ISBN: 0-7637-3037-8, $54.95


This book contains an extensive introduction on ethics and nursing practice, three sections that contain a total of 15 chapters, and a glossary of terms. Part 1-"Ethics and Values in Nursing"-consists of two chapters that provide the reader with an overview of ethics and values in health and illness. In Part 2, each of the six chapters details an aspect of ethics and nursing practice such as justice, avoiding harm, and principles of veracity, fidelity, and sanctity. The third, and longest, section-"Special Problem Areas in Nursing Practice"-takes specific issues (e.g., abortion, genetics, and experimentation) and outlines ethical issues. The authors have created a user-friendly primer about ethical matters in nursing practice and provide in each chapter several cases that illustrate salient points. Chapters begin with a list of key terms along with a set of objectives that alert the reader to each chapter's focus. Each chapter also contains one or more Research Briefs, which are brief synopses of contemporary research on that particular topic. The glossary offers definitions in clear and concise language of 77 terms that are used throughout the text.


Discussions of nursing ethics can often and mistakenly be reduced to "right or wrong" arguments. This approach to ethics has the potential to polarize positions and does not further or deepen the dialogue about the issues, thus minimizing their complexities. Case Studies in Nursing Ethics does not do that; rather, it makes a concerted effort to not advance a particular position or point of view. The 136 cases throughout the text are carefully crafted to raise ethical dilemmas succinctly and provide an excellent backdrop for discussion. Subsequent to the case presentation, the authors provide commentary about the case; also throughout each chapter are sections of Critical Thinking Questions that are useful supplements to discussions.


This text is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students in ethics or current topics in nursing practice courses. For undergraduates, it could be the primary text because it thoroughly describes and delineates the breadth of topics necessary for a thorough understanding of nursing practice and ethics. For graduate students, it could be used as a reference text in conjunction with primary source research materials. The text would also be useful for staff development personnel and nurse managers, again as a resource text, when either conducting staff training on ethical issues or desiring direction on how to proceed when confronted with a clinical ethical issue.


Case Studies in Nursing Ethics is a dense read; there are minimal charts and tables to break up the text. Undergraduates or those not familiar with nursing ethics may find their attention lagging at times. Also, the lack of summary statements and synopses reviewing a chapter's main points could be problematic for readers when wanting clarification about particular points in the chapter. However, nursing ethics is a serious topic and one that deserves serious intellectual treatment; the format of the book underscores the seriousness of the topic. Furthermore, the book reflects the most current and up-to-date ethical dilemmas that confront practicing nurses in the contemporary healthcare environment and, overall, does an excellent job of making the materials accessible and understandable.



Saunders Elsevier, The Curtis Center, Independence Square West, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Tel: (215) 239-3900; Fax: (215) 238-7883, Web site: 2006, 944 pp., softbound, ISBN: 1-4160- 0168-9, $44.95


The purpose of this text is "to provide both a comprehensive introduction to the field and a synthesis of both nursing leadership and nursing management." The author cites a twofold goal: to differentiate traditional leadership and management perspectives and to relate them in an integrated way with contemporary nursing trends and practice applications. This third edition differs from the two previous editions in that there are contributors and coauthors for most of the chapters; the author has sought to tap into experts in the field so as to enhance the presentation of core principles of leadership and management.


The content (40 chapters, 883 pages) is organized into seven segments:


* Leadership and care management overview


* The professional's role


* Healthcare organizations and systems


* Care management


* Human resources management


* Fiscal management


* Outcomes management



The major strength of this book lies in its comprehensive examination of nursing leadership through the eyes of experts, both nurses and nonnurses. The context of change within the healthcare industry, the pivotal role of nursing to lead clinical change strategies, and the role and functions of the nurse leader are thoroughly examined.


Well organized, with a logical flow, the text is enhanced by several features: study questions delve into the information presented and provide a platform for synthesis, critical thinking exercises present challenging situations for discussion, and case studies showcase vignettes of ''realworld'' nursing leadership issues. Particularly insightful, with practical applications, is the discussion of models of care delivery, performance appraisal, budgeting, and measuring outcomes. Although the text is geared primarily for use in an academic setting, it provides a useful resource for nursing managers at all levels. When used as part of a curriculum, instructor and student resources are available online.