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Nursing Study Guide

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Essential Nursing Guide
For Vocational Students
A heavy responsibility


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Entry level nurses have a confusing variety of titles by state and country. Such nurses are sometimes called vocational, practical, enrolled or licensed (sometimes registered too). I have chosen to use the term vocational as a generic term to distinguish it from other health disciplines. This book may also be useful for allied workers in the health field, such as auxiliary,assistant or orderly. When starting out, it can be hard to find the right book and I am hoping this explanation helps.

This nursing textbook is intended to be ai introductory reference for students training for occupational roles such as:-

  • Australia and New Zealand - Enrolled Nurse, Division two (Diploma, usually TAFE or equivalent RTO)
  • Malaysia and Singapore Certificate Level Nursing.
  • United Kingdom state enrolled nurse (level two, usually polytechnic) This level of training is no longer available in the UK
  • United States Licensed Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN usually at a practical nurse school)
  • South Africa Higher certificate or nursing auxiliary (new qualification commencing in 2012)

Vocational Nursing programs usually cover some of the content required for career progression to registered nursing by a university degree program. This book concentrates on outlines and brief theoretical coverage sufficient for application of the practical skills required for aged or disabled care, general practise and hospital nursing within the scope of vocational nursing practise. Vocational Nursing students are of a wide range of ages and educational background, from high school age to educational returnees making late career changes (for example after having children leave home). This book is concerned with referenced material in order to maintain currency, while bearing in mind that readers are predisposed toward using what the knowledge can do , rather than reading from generalist thoroughness. Be brief, use plain English and graphics wherever possible.


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This book will not address Pharmacology, General Anatomy or Human Physiology. These subjects are generously provided in other Wikibooks. See chapter on further reading.

The information planned for this book is of the type, depth and clarity already readily available on the Internet and in existing textbooks. Please observe copyright rules for wikibooks. This textbook proposes to condense, compile and simplify wherever possible. Pages should be fun, follow a narrative and use real life stories. The book has been divided in a rather ancient pattern, from head to toe. Dividing clients by organ system is quite false, but this organization is hoped to stimulate interest in a book long overdue for development. I hope readers concentrating on this book will spark students and nurses to participate in writing about basic nursing first. They can then flex their skills in their own specialist field. I challenge all nurses to consider typing out a few pearls, to add their experience to this project. I challenge nursing trainers and lecturers in particular to engage their class in a topic review as a learning exercise and hand on the torch to succeeding generations.

Where a clearly articulated career pathway exists, many registered nurses became vocational nurses first. This is NOT a forum for debating merits of a tiered nursing hierarchy. Doubts about the reality, need or utility of various grade of nurse should be addressed to governments on whom this responsibility rests. This book is intended for a cohort of health industry workers from around the world. This is a wiki-book where entry level nurses may come to feather the stumps of their ungrown wings. I hope all readers will join me in treating this is a book to welcome newcomers to nursing.

Registered Nurses and researchers will find a more academic nursing wikibook at Open Source Handbook of Nursing


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This book is intended to be a textbook for nurses studying the essentials of vocational nursing. The chapters have been arranged after Marjory Gordon's functional health patterns and named for the organ system chiefly concerned with each. The future of other chapters is more flexible. The main drive of this book is to address the issues and topic of interest to nursing students undertaking tertiary programs leading to employment roles as trained nurses. The emphasis will be on the mechanics of caring for a generic adult clientèle within a defined regulated scope of nursing. Pages will carry detailed explanations of essential skills and knowledge required to function in the health care workplace. Variations on nursing skills and practise will be highlighted fro specialities in which nurses with mid-range education are employed, such as operating theatres, aged care and medical practise surgeries. The fundamentals of mental health, maternity, infant care will be addressed at an appropriate level for electives in novice nurse training.

Generic Chapters

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Specialist Chapters

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Medical Disclaimer

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