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Becoming a Registered Nurse: Making the Transition to Practice

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 Title: Becoming a Registered Nurse: Making the Transition to Practice

Author; Jenny Temple

Publisher: London: Sage

Reviewer: Ed Shields, nurse lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast

What was it like?

This is quite a short, readable book but, nonetheless, is laden with lots of information for new nurses to reflect upon. It leads the reader through chapters dealing with, among other things, issues relating to making the most of your final year as a student, becoming an independent practitioner and dealing with change. The nurse’s role as a leader, risks and decisions, as well as nursing the deteriorating patient are also covered. There is much here of relevance (maybe even concern) to new nurses. Each chapter contains working scenarios and activities to help stimulate reflection and critical thinking on the part of the reader. Chapters are also underpinned with reference to appropriate supporting theory; however, the book retains a sense of having a practical application. The author supplies some brief outline answers at the end of each chapter to assist readers in the process of beginning to think critically about suggested scenarios and activities. There are also useful reading suggestions as well as websites. The book is closely aligned with, and reflects, the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s Essential Skills Clusters for new nurses, particularly for the point of entry to the register.


What were the highlights? 

I suggest a particular highlight of this book is the degree to which it contains so much useful information for new nurses, pitched just about perfectly, in such a short book. It is not “discouraging” to pick up and therefore will be more likely to be consulted and, I believe, revisited many times.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The use of practical scenarios around developing reflection and critical thinking about the issues dealt with in the book is helpful and will be recognised by third year students; the scenarios are set in various fields of nursing but all students will readily identify with these issues. It is difficult to see how this book could be improved at this stage. There is a mistake on page 101; the heading refers to “The SPAR communication tool” when it should read “SBAR”.

Who should read it?

The author starts the book by stating that it has been written specifically for the final-year nursing student and those recently registered. It is not field-specific and so students from all fields of nursing will be able to benefit from reading it. It may also be useful for staff nurses who have been qualified a little longer to revisit, and reflect upon some of the issues dealt within the book. Finally, teachers preparing students for entry to the register might also find this book helpful as a module or reading material.

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