Editors: Ann B. Hamric, Charlene M. Hanson, Mary Fran Tracy, and Eileen T. O’Grady
Publisher: Elsevier Saunders – 726 pages

Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

With 41 contributors of material on various topics in advanced practice nursing, the fifth edition of this book (the first edition appeared in 1996) is a valuable one in this field. The material has also been reviewed by 19 other educators and practitioners in nursing, making it more authoritative.

The editors write that the number of advanced practice nurses (APNs) has grown by 55 percent in the 12 years from 1996 to 2008, the last year for which figures were available.

While advanced practice nursing has been viewed from divergent perspectives, a unified and integrated understanding of this field and its core competencies is emerging, they further point out.

There is a voluminous amount of information in this book of 24 chapters but it is organized in four Parts to help the reader better absorb it. The four Parts are:

1. Historical and Developmental Aspects of Advanced Practice Nursing
2. Competencies of Advanced Practice Nursing
3. Advanced Roles: The Operational Definitions of Advanced Practice Nursing
4. Critical Elements in Managing Advanced Practice Nursing Environments

The chapters cover a wide range of topics, such as: collaboration, consultation, direct clinical practice, ethical decision-making, evidence-based practice, evolution of APN, guidance and coaching, health policy issues, leadership roles, legal issues, and others.

This edition includes new and enhanced illustrations, and a new reader-friendly format for improved readability.

The organization of material in each chapter enables the student to learn about the various topics in a step-by-step and systematic manner. Learning aids take smaller chunks of information and present them in formats that make for easier absorption.

Among the features in each chapter that make this possible are:

• A Chapter Contents section at the beginning of each chapter that gives in a capsule, the topics and subtopics covered in that chapter
• Main topics in separate headings
• Subtopics under the main topics
• Boxes (e.g. Box 1-1 Timeline provides years and important events in nursing)
• Exemplars (e.g. Exemplar 1-1: Nurse anesthetists in 1942-45 in a hospital in Italy)
• Photos, which are typically provided in the Exemplars
• Tables, typically with columns, that sometimes provide information with numbers
• A Conclusion, usually with a few numbered points
• References at the end of the chapters that list books consulted, available for study.

This is a wide-ranging book on advanced practice nursing covering its history, development and current state of practice; specific areas of knowledge and competencies required; the different roles performed within this field; and its management elements.

The four editors named below have done a marvelous job of sourcing, compiling, sorting, organizing, editing, and presenting information, with excellent graphics and learning aids.

Ann B. Hamric, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor in the School of Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Charlene M. Hanson, EdD, FNP-BC, FAAN, is Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, is a Critical Care Clinical Care Specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Fairview Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Eileen T. O’Grady, PhD, RN, ANP is a Certified Nurse Practitioner and Wellness Coach in private practice in McLean, Virginia.