1. Hoffman, Sandra MS, RN

Article Content

K. R. Simpson and P. A. Creehan. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2008. $55.95. ISBN 13:978-0-7817-6759-0. 709 pp.


AWHONN's Perinatal Nursing, 3rd ed, is a well-written and organized summary of key evidence- and standards-based information for obstetrical and neonatal nurses. The purpose of the book is to provide content essential to quality and safe perinatal nursing care, and it can serve as core reference and resource for any hospital nursing staff that provides obstetrical and neonatal services. Many hospitals and health systems identify AWHONN's Perinatal Nursing as one of the main texts for use in new registered nurse orientation. The book immediately grabs the reader's attention with a focus on perinatal patient safety and professional liability issues. The importance of leadership, professional behavior, conflict resolution, and documentation and the importance of structure, process, and outcome quality measures to help ensure perinatal safety are highlighted. This chapter provides a helpful summary of common areas of patient harm and liability and provides the corresponding evidence and standards to help inform safe care. Next, the book takes the reader through the entire pregnancy, labor, and delivery process, including neonatal care, with a focus on cultural competence and compassionate, patient-centered, professional nursing care. The chapter on integrating cultural beliefs and practices provides a helpful appendix with a wonderful list of Internet resources.


The remaining chapters follow the normal process of pregnancy (physiologic and psychosocial aspects), through delivery and postpartum care. Chapter 6 is an excellent summary of common high-risk pregnancy conditions. The last 3 chapters are dedicated to newborn assessment, care, nutrition, and common complications. This edition eliminated specific chapters on perinatal loss and bereavement, discharge planning, and postpartum home care. For those nurses preparing for certification, 250 questions and answers are provided at the end of the book.


Each chapter provides helpful, practical tables, displays, and pictures that can serve as excellent quick references for the new or experienced nurse. The content is extensively referenced and easy to read. This book is an excellent resource for clinicians, educators, and clinical nurse specialists interested in ensuring excellent, safe care for mothers and babies. I challenge those who already think that they know the topics contained in AWHONN's Perinatal Nursing to read this edition to ensure that they are keeping up with their new orientees!