weaves together historical views of APNs with present-day issues and trends. The contributors have masterfully analyzed the issues so that the reader will come to know both the larger policy issues facing APNs and how these issues translate into day-to-day care of patients.
The critical examination of financing, values, politics, and intraprofessional education and practice as well as interprofessional relationships combines to bring APNs into sharp focus. The evolution of APNs has been a major event in the history of nursing. While each of the four APN disciplines—clinical nurse specialist,
nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist—has a unique history and place within nursing, the commonalities have established a force within health care that has changed the way care is delivered and will continue to change the system. In fact, the commonalities provide a critical basis for forging an even more powerful coalition of APNs to tackle common challenges related to ensuring patients get the best care possible. The social contract that nurses have with the public is unique, and APNs have extended that contract to higher levels of service, decision-making, and accountability.
This book captures the vitality of advanced practice nursing as an aggregated entity. The label of APN is now widely used and recognized by policy makers and patients alike. This represents unprecedented progress in nursing, when few knew what a clinical specialist or nurse practitioner was. We are largely past the days of having to prove the viability, utility, and safety of APNs. We are now constructively examining practice issues in order to advance patient care, not defend the practice.
Each chapter presents perspectives that are useful resources unto themselves. A valuable part of each chapter is the suggested exercises. Readers will appreciate the challenge that these exercises afford them. Taking the time to think through the questions will give APNs and others a chance to explore issues they may not have thought to explore. Even though each chapter is a resource itself, the collection of chapters is so well orchestrated that the full picture is definitely greater than the parts.
Whether this book is used by students, practicing APNs, policy makers, or other health professionals, it will be an extraordinary resource.