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Robin Newhouse, Sandra Dearholt, Stephanie Poe, Linda Pugh, Kathleen White, Sigma Theta Tau International, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2007, ISBN 978-1-930538-71-9, paperback, 224 pages, US $29.95.


* Reviewed by:


Erin Meredith, ARNP-BC, PCCN


Assistant Chief Nursing QI/Magnet Program Director


James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, Florida


Many staff nurses do not fully understand evidence-based practice nursing or have the guidance to use evidence in their daily practice. This book fills the gap between theory and practice. First, a clear definition of evidence-based practice and how it differs from research utilization is provided. Second, the link between critical thinking and evidence-based practice is clarified. Last, the book explains the Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model which is specific to nursing. Step-by-step guidance is provided, including the overall structure of the Practice question, Evidence, and Translation process, with each step being as equally important as the next.


From the beginning, emphasis is placed on developing a specific practice question. Without a well-defined practice question, much time could be spent searching for evidence or trying to translate evidence that does not apply to the problem at hand.


Searching for evidence is difficult to write about because each reader has different resources available to fulfill this endeavor. These authors provide brief guidance to identifying key search words and a few electronic databases. Appraising research, too, is difficult to summarize in a couple of chapters. This book briefly outlines research methods, grading type and quality of research. Difference strengths of evidence scales are used for research and nonresearch publications. Having two separate rating tools is confusing as readers may interpret nonresearch evidence and research evidence of the same strength and of equal caliber. Also, the translation chapter is very brief.


Building an evidence-based practice culture is not an easy task, and leadership input is key to successful implementation. Suggestions for building an evidence-based practice infrastructure are provided. Finally, exemplars are provided which demonstrate the success of the Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model.


This overview of the Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model is an excellent introduction and does provide simplistic guidelines for implementation. The book is easy to read and appropriate for the professional nurse educator and the staff nurse. The presentation of information is organized but needs to be read in sequence. With adequate leadership support and mentorship from nurses with formal training in research, professional nursing educators and staff nurses can successfully implement the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Model using this book. It is a great addition to any staff nurse's library.



Martha A. Q. Curley, Sigma Theta Tau International, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2007, ISBN 1.930538.51.0, paperback, 290 pages, US $39.95.


* Reviewed by:


Judee L. Gozzard, MSN, RN, BC


Safe Patient Handling Coordinator


Bay Pines VA Health System


Bay Pines, Florida


This well-written book serves as a useful reference to a relevant care model that links nursing care to improved patient outcomes. The model is "a new paradigm for clinical practice" that demonstrates that, when the patient's needs and characteristics match the nurse's level of competency, a synergistic relationship results that enhances patient outcomes and increases staff satisfaction. The Synergy Model can be used to define nursing practice in a variety of nursing situations and to identify varying levels of staff competency and patient acuity. The book describes how the model clusters nursing characteristics into low, medium, and high levels of competency within each of the eight identified patient care continuums.


Some research validates the link between nursing competency and patient characteristics and demonstrates how matching them improves patient outcomes, but there are limited empirical data to support the adoption of this model into clinical practice. The book fails to identify alternate methods for staffing when there are no qualified staff members to match a patient's needs. The contributions from multiple authors result in uneven presentations of content. The content is compelling, however, so that readability ceases to be an issue in the later chapters.


Recommended Reading for all Levels of Nursing

Synergy clearly captures the essence of nursing and demonstrates how optimal patient outcomes are dependent on nursing care. The book is an essential read for all nurses and serves as a career map to set goals for new nurses or as an administrative adjunct for the seasoned nurse to guide practice in research, staffing assignments and evaluations, and competencies and as a framework for nursing curricula.