this is a book review that appeared in the journal of nurse life care planning. imnsho, its points will be helpful to any student or practicing nurse.
since our profession is based on the nursing process, this small volume is an essential reference for all nurse life care planners. those whose only exposure was to the comparatively incomplete work of the north american nursing diagnosis association in previous editions will be very pleasantly surprised by this completely rethought work. it has a great deal to offer the new and seasoned nurse life care planner in planning, education, and supporting nursing process as the theoretical underpinnings of our professional practice.(e.g., at deposition or trial).
part i opens the volume with a chapter on clinical diagnosis and assessment, and how these are integral to nursing diagnosis in practice. as an aside, it also has material on nursing diagnosis in nursing education, informatics, research, and administration. these may also give the nurse life care planner some insight into using it in other non-traditional settings—like life care planning. a list of the 21 new nursing diagnoses in this edition, and their authors’ names, also appears here.
part ii, the thirteen domains and diagnoses themselves, are completely reformatted and now include definitions, defining characteristics, and related factors. an easy-to-scan chart is included that includes all domains and classes (fig. 1). listing the domain and class of each allows easy cross-referencing. many diagnoses have references from the current literature, some extensive.
while a busy nurse life care planner could be forgiven for stopping right there, part iii offers the interested reader more isight into the historical and contemporary development of the current taxonomy, how various organizations recognize it and use its contents as standards; this could be of use in litigation. part iv lists diagnoses that have been retired; part v asks the reader to become involved in this seminal work’s future and gives a full description of the review process for new diagnoses.
this reviewer’s pet peeve about previous editions was the weakness of the index, essentially a re-listing of the headers from each diagnosis’ page with no alternatives. this edition’s greatly expanded index does not disappoint, giving extensive cross-references for many possible nursing diagnoses for a given condition or risk factor. this opens up many avenues for thought, research, and action, enriching our work. for example, the entry for “self care” points to its place in the taxonomy, and then to entries for deficits in bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, and readiness for enhanced self-care.
this classic work should be on every life care planner’s reference shelf; it will gratify and reward the working nurse in any setting.