Advances in Gerontological Nursing - Volume 1: Issues for the 21st Century by EA Swanson and T. Tripp-Reimer, 1996, New York, NY: Springer, 279 pages, hard cover, $46.95
Advances in Gerontological Nursing - Volume 1: Issues for the 21st Century is the inaugural edition of an annual series launched by the University of Iowa College of Nursing and the Springer Publishing Company. The series promises to be a unique and exhilarating forum for sophisticated, "cutting edge" literature on gerontological nursing.
Volume 1 contains 10 chapters focused around the theme, Issues for the 21st Century. In Chapter 1, the reader is asked to consider projected needs for providers in the 21st century who are specifically prepared to care for older adults. A compelling discussion then highlights shortcomings, possibilities, and recommendations related to gerontological nursing education.
Chapter 2 offers background on major theoretical perspectives in gerontology as foundation for an overview of the Iowa Conceptual Model of Gerontological Nursing. This integrated model casts late life as a series of major transitions that simultaneously represent biological regression and unique opportunities for personal growth, health, and well-being.
Nursing of rural elders is examined in Chapter 3, leaving the reader with tremendous appreciation for the diversity of this population, challenges of rural nursing, paucity of suitable health care options for rural elders, and issues for gerontological nursing research, practice, and education in rural settings. As if in response, Chapter 4 provides an overview of model wellness/health promotion programs for older adults, followed by explicit, practical guidelines for setting up and succeeding in such an enterprise.
Featured in Chapter 5 is a superb array of theory-based and researchbased nursing interventions for older adults with impaired cognition. Additional strong points include delineation of conceptual foundations for care of cognitively impaired older adults, discussion of relevant policy issues, and recommendations for future research. Similarly, in Chapter 6, research-based nursing interventions for caregiving families are detailed, knowledge about the nature of the family caregiving role is synthesized, and directions for further inquiry are specified.
Chapter 7 offers a valuable primer on terminology used to describe ethnic identity, followed by a critical review of the knowledge base about "ethnic elderly." The chapter culminates with a discussion of the issues of poverty, access to care, decision making, and family and community as they relate to caring for older adults with distinct ethnic identities. Likewise, Chapter 8 provides historical background regarding homelessness in America, followed by an examination of the current scope of the problem in general, and for older adults in particular. The chapter culminates with a presentation of findings and implications from a descriptive study of the health care and social support experiences of a sample (n = 63) of homeless older adults.
In Chapter 9, the reader is treated to a warm and wonderful biographical essay that traces the remarkable career of Irene Burnside. Besides providing a magnificent tribute to this pioneering geropsychiatric nurse and her work, Chapter 9 should be essential "feel good/feel proud" reading for geropsychiatric nurses and those aspiring to join their ranks.
Finally, in Chapter 10, issues and challenges for gerontological nursing in 21st century America are posed, based on an excellent synthesis of trends in sociodemographics and delivery systems for health care and social services.
It is difficult to think of enough superlatives to ascribe to this volume. I recommend it for anyone who is involved, or expects to be involved, with nursing care of older adults, particularly those in academic, administrative, or advanced practice roles. The book is an informative, easily read, pragmatic, and enjoyable collection of wisdom from experts in the field. Outstanding!