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Formulating a Differential Diagnosis for the Advanced Practice Provider, Second Edition

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Formulating a Differential Diagnosis for the Advanced Practice Provider, Second Edition

SKU# 9780826152220

Author: Jacqueline Rhoads PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-C, GNP, CNL-C, FAANP


  • Julie C. Penick PhD, DNP, MSN, FNP
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Praise for the First Edition:

“Developing a comprehensive differential diagnosis for a specific complaint is a daunting task even for experienced advanced practice nurses. This user-friendly clinical guide provides a strategy and standard format for working through this complex task. It is a wonderful tool for both students and new advanced practice nurses...” -- 5 stars, Doody’s

This easy-access clinical guide to over 70 commonly seen symptoms, written for advanced practice provider (APP) students and new practitioners, describes a step-by-step process for obtaining a reliable patient history, choosing the appropriate physical exam, and using the patient history and physical exam findings to form a differential diagnosis. The second edition continues to include the case study approach, and is updated to incorporate 22 new symptoms along with contributions by a new editor, who is a leader in holistic health.

The guide is distinguished by several unique features including focused patient history questions and responses, physical exam findings, a differential diagnosis table (clearly comparing potential diagnostic choices based on symptoms), a diagnostic examination table (including estimated costs and codes), and a case study summary highlighting the critical thinking process. Symptoms are presented alphabetically in a systematic, unfolding case study approach and include chief complaint, presenting history, past history, and explicit methodology for determining correct diagnosis.


  • Describes over 70 (22 new to the second edition) commonly presented symptoms with unfolding case scenarios
  • Offers a step-by-step approach to building clinical decision-making skills
  • Provides quick access to differential diagnosis, requisite diagnostic tests, and clinical decision making
  • Guides APP students and novice practitioners in conducting a problem-focused history and examination
  • Includes unique differential diagnosis tables and diagnostic examinations tables that help clarify strategies for diagnostic decision making

Product Details 

  • Publication Date November 17, 2017
  • Page Count 576
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826152220
  • EISBN 9780826152237

About The Author(s) 

Jacqueline Rhoads, PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-C, PMHNP-BE, CNL-C, FAANP, has held many faculty positions during her career and has taught in nurse practitioner programs since 1994. She has been awarded major research funding for a variety of research projects and continues to foster an evidence-based practice implementing outcomes-focused care. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and was awarded numerous commendations and medals for meritorious service in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Dr. Rhoads has authored three books for major nursing publishers as well as numerous articles. Her 2012 book, Nurses' Clinical Consult to Psychopharmacology, was awarded first place as an AJN Book of the Year. Her textbook. Clinical Consult to Psychiatric Mental Health Care, won second place as an AJN Book of the year in 2011.

Julie Penick, PhD, DNP, MSN, FNP, is a Board-Certified APRN and leader in Holistic Health. She has over 20 years of experience as a primary health care provider specializing in complementary and alternative medicine and is known as an accomplished diagnostician. Currently, Dr. Penick is full-time Faculty in the MSN Program at Western Governors University, where she teaches E-B Practice & Nursing Theory, Translational Research for Practice and Populations, Field Experience, and MSN Capstone courses.

Table of Contents 

Foreword Maureen A. Knechtel, MPAS, PA-C



Introduction to Differential Diagnosis and Diagnosis of Common Problems

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Swelling

Ankle Pain

Anxious Mood

Blood in Urine

Breast Lumps

Chest Pain



Coughing Up Blood

Depressed Mood


Difficulty Achieving Bowel Movement

Difficulty Speaking

Difficulty Swallowing


Double Vision

Ear Discharge

Ear Pain

Elbow Pain

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Eye Discharge

Eye Pain

Eye Redness




Foot Pain

Frequency of Urination

Hand Pain and Swelling



Heavy Menstrual Flow

Hip Pain



Itchiness in Skin


Joint Pain

Knee Pain

Leg Pain

Low Back Pain

Lower Extremity Edema

Memory Loss

Mouth Lesions

Muscle Weakness

Neck Pain

Night Sweats

Nipple Discharge

Painful Intercourse

Painful Urination


Panic Episodes

Pelvic Pain

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal Pain

Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)

Runny Nose

Shortness of Breath

Shoulder Pain

Skin Lesions

Skin Pain

Skin Rashes

Sleep Disturbances

Sore Throat


Unsteady Gait

Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Itchiness

Vaginal Lesions


Weight Gain

Weight Loss


Wrist Pain