New Edition of Top Nursing Book Released

Carolyn Jarvis

May 5, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The newest edition of the nation’s most popular health assessment textbook is available from author Carolyn Jarvis of Illinois Wesleyan University.

Physical Examination and Health Assessment, first published in 1992 and now in its 7th edition, helps prepare future nurses to assess patient problems.

According to publisher Elsevier, Jarvis' book has the widest adaptation of any health assessment/physical examination textbook in North America. It has been translated into eight languages and is used in an estimated 20 countries globally. 

Jarvis attributes the book’s long popularity to the conversational style of the text, and the straightforward explanations. “In the book, I’m directly talking to the reader. It’s not ‘the nurse does this.’” It’s a descriptive language directed to you,” just as she approaches her classes at Illinois Wesleyan. 

Jarvis fills the book with scenarios based on real-life situations, the same she faces as a nurse practitioner. “It’s crucial to be practicing in the profession,” said Jarvis. “Not only does it keep my skills active, but it validates the things I say in the classroom and in the text.”

For Jarvis, the overall goal of the textbook is the goal of every nurse – to serve the patient. “Nurses are the only ones by the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day,” said Jarvis. “They have to have first-rate examination skills.”

Jarvis does what she can to keep the book relevant and accessible. “I want students to take the book to class and write in the margins, not keep it in their residence halls,” she said. 

A graduate of the University of Iowa with her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Jarvis earned her master’s degree in nursing from Loyola University in Chicago and her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Along with teaching at Illinois Wesleyan, Jarvis has taught at Rush University, the University of Missouri, Columbia and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.