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Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing 9th Edition Review

Varcarolis’ Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 9th Edition


Varcarolis’ Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach, now in its 9th Edition, stands as a comprehensive and evidence-based guide for nursing professionals navigating the intricate realm of psychiatric care. Authored by clinical nurse specialist Dr. Margaret Jordan Halter, this edition integrates the latest advancements in the field, ensuring an up-to-date resource for students and practitioners alike.

Textbook Review

Clinical Approach with Next Generation NCLEX® Content

One of the standout features of this edition is the integration of Next Generation NCLEX® (NGN) content, strategically placed at the end of each clinical chapter. These NGN case studies and questions elevate critical thinking skills, providing valuable preparation for the PMHN certification exam. The seamless incorporation of the nursing process framework in clinical chapters establishes a structured approach, guiding readers from theory to application with real-world examples.

In-depth Exploration of Psychiatric Disorders

The book delves into the neurobiology of disorders with illustrated explanations, fostering a deeper understanding of the intricacies involved. Notable additions include updated screening tools and rating scales, facilitating a more nuanced assessment of symptom severity. The organization of clinical chapters mirrors the DSM-5, offering specific diagnostic criteria for major disorders, a valuable asset for practitioners aligning their practice with the latest standards.

Practical Learning Aids and Cultural Sensitivity

Learning features such as case study and nursing care plan boxes, evidence-based practice boxes, and assessment guidelines enhance comprehension. The inclusion of key terms and concepts, critical thinking prompts, and chapter reviews solidify the learning experience. The conversational, mentor-like writing style employed by Dr. Halter adds a personal touch, making it easier for readers to apply textbook knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Addressing the importance of person-centered care, the book incorporates “Considering Culture” boxes, emphasizing the significance of cultural competence in diverse clinical situations. Patient and Family Teaching boxes guide nurses in educating patients and families on psychiatric disorders, treatments, complications, and medication side effects, fostering collaborative and informed care.

New Emphases and Updates

This edition introduces a heightened emphasis on adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and trauma-informed care, recognizing the near-universal prevalence of trauma in individuals with psychiatric disorders. Advanced practice treatment modalities, categorized into biological interventions (e.g., pharmacotherapy and brain stimulation therapies) and psychological therapies (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy), provide an in-depth exploration of contemporary therapeutic approaches.

Health Policy boxes have been updated to reflect current legislation related to mental health, ensuring that readers are informed about the evolving landscape of mental health care. The incorporation of the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) further enhances the book’s utility, providing easily translatable nursing diagnoses across diverse settings and disciplines.


In conclusion, Varcarolis’ Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 9th Edition, is an invaluable resource for students and practitioners seeking a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to psychiatric care. With its rich array of features, including NGN content, practical learning aids, and a culturally sensitive approach, the book remains a cornerstone in the field of psychiatric nursing.

We would rate “Varcarolis’ Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 9th Edition” a very good 4.6 out of 5. The book demonstrates a strong commitment to providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on psychiatric nursing. It excels in incorporating Next Generation NCLEX® content, practical learning aids, and a culturally sensitive approach, enhancing the learning experience for students and practitioners. The emphasis on the neurobiology of disorders, the DSM-5 criteria, and the inclusion of advanced practice treatment modalities further contribute to the book’s overall value. While no resource is perfect, this edition comes close with its rich features and commitment to delivering quality content in the field of psychiatric nursing.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Saunders

  • Pages: 696

  • ISBN-10: 0323697070

  • ISBN-13: 978-0323697071

  • Release date: August 27, 2021

Varcarolis’ Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 9th Edition by Margaret Jordan Halter

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