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Using an approach that fosters critical thinking and values clarification, this textbook examines the full range of professional issues facing contemporary nursing. Coverage includes critical issues such as the nursing shortage, mandatory staffing ratios, violence in nursing, legal and ethical issues, plus the latest HIPAA regulations, career advancement and evaluations, and best practices for today and the future. This edition includes two NEW chapters: 1) a NEW chapter on developing effective leaders to meet 21st century healthcare challenges, and 2) a NEW chapter on the use of residencies for new graduate nurses as a transition to practice. In addition to these exciting additions, content has been updated throughout the book to reflect cutting-edge trends in healthcare including the impact of healthcare reform, and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). This edition promises to be an integral tool to providing effective nursing care in an increasingly global, rapidly changing, technology driven world.