As a nurse educator, I approached Sellman's work from my perspective of working with undergraduate students at the beginning of their nursing program - a critical point for teachers to consider what Sellman asks of us - What makes a good nurse? And why are the virtues important for nurses? As a teacher, not only was I looking for a comprehensive philosophical analysis of the virtues themselves, but also some thoughtful suggestions for how to approach the learning of, and teaching for virtue development, and how to help students value virtues as critically important attributes for nurses. In this, Sellman did not disappoint as I found myself immersed in philosophical complexity, compelling arguments, and renewed conviction about the importance of virtues for nurses and the educational endeavor as the appropriate space in which to locate them. -- Nurse Education Today This is a stimulating, engaging text covering a wide terrain... I recommend that this book as a stimulating text for undergraduates, postgraduates and their lecturers; where the purpose will be to initiate discussion on distinctions between the ideal and the real. In this respect the book has value, as a catalyst, where these important matters will benefit from further debate. -- Nursing Philosophy This book is published at a time in which it seems that virtue ethics is having a revival in applied medical ethics, and this also accounts for nursing ethics. The picture of what makes a good nurse as drawn by Derek Sellman should be debated, to see what nurses should or need not aim for. Especially nursing students will be interested in discussing virtues ethics and how to cope with difficult circumstances in order to realize the virtues into practice. -- Medicine, Health Care & Philosophy He presents persuasive arguments and I commend him for drawing attention to the importance of these virtues in nursing. He presents values that all nurses should consider for their own practice and for the education of future generations. -- Nursing Standards The theoretical domain within which nursing seeks to fulfil its social mandate demands not only shared ideals but also systems and structures to enact them. Sellman has jumped headfirst into this treacherous intellectual and ethical minefield, and offered us an enticing new direction. -- Prof. Sally Thorne, University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada Taking up the conundrum of what constitutes the "good nurse", Derek Sellman invites us into a lively and intelligent dialogue between science, morality, and applied practice. He guides us underneath our taken-for-granted understandings of such notions as courage, trustworthiness and open mindedness so that we encounter these professional virtues not as fossilized attributes to be known or possessed, but rather as intricately complex, delicately situated, and constantly evolving expressions of human practices within the conditions that shape them. Teasing apart the ideals these virtues represent, he challenges our usual approaches to thinking about the nature of nursing, encouraging us to reframe the manner in which we educate those who seek to learn the mysteries of its practice. -- Prof. Sally Thorne, University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada This is perhaps the most thorough and outstanding coverage of the philosophical basis for nursing practice and nursing education that exists to date. What is nursing? What sort of people nurses should be? Derek makes this difficult but important area of nursing inquiry much, much easier. Powerful and elegant from start to finish, this book should be on the desk of every nurse. -- Prof. Diana Lee, Chair Professor of Nursing and Director, The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Derek Sellman's text is both a timely and highly absorbing journey deep into the heart of nursing. It reveals a timeless and essential set of key virtues that should be a major part of the moral compass of every nurse. Subsequently, it should be read by all nurses - and most certainly by all nurse educators - who are interested in maintaining and promoting the vital moral characteristics of nursing now and in the future. -- Dr. Martin Woods, Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Services, Massey University, New Zealand Nursing, according to Derek Sellman, is a MacIntyrian practice which can only flourish when it is not prevented from pursuing the completion of independent ideas. In What Makes a Good Nurse, being vulnerable, trustworthy and open-minded are central virtues studied critically to offer future perspectives. Situated in the realities of the nursing profession today, Sellman draws back on his rich experiences as a teacher of nursing and his deep reflections as a philosopher. This is what makes the book so authentic and easy to stroll through the realms of philosophy. Readers will certainly feel encouraged to engage in a fruitful conversation on moral understandings of contemporary professional nursing. -- Dr. Helen Kohlen, Sociologist, Junior Professor of Care Policy and Ethics, Faculty of Nursing, University of Vallendar, Germany This is a very careful ethical discussion that will not be for every reader, but is a valuable contribution to the current crisis of confidence, both in the NHS and society, about how we define the common good and moral responsibilities and wisdom. -- The Sign
About the Author
Derek Sellman qualified first as a mental health and then as a general adult nurse before studying for a BSc (Hons) in Nursing Studies at Manchester Polytechnic and a Master's Degree and PhD at the Institute of Education, University of London. He practiced as a nurse for many years before moving into nurse education in the late 1980s. He is the Editor of Nursing Philosophy and is now Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada.