If you have time off over the holidays, or are just looking for a compelling book to curl up with on a winter day, take a look at our recommended reading list for nurses. The links below take you to each book’s Amazon page, but many of these will be available from other sellers, in paperback or e-book versions.
By: Florence Nightingale
Although it was written more than a century and a half ago, in 1859, the book is surprisingly relevant today—perhaps because Nightingale’s thoughts were so advanced for her time. It is an easy read, and will give you many insights into why we practice nursing the way we do today, and why nursing must continue to evolve. If you’ve never read this classic, it’s worth picking up and at least browsing through it.
By: Carolyn Jourdan
Published this September, this book is a collection of profiles that reflect the most memorable moments of sixty different nurses. They span 70 years of nursing practice, from World War II to present times and deal with a wide range of nursing tasks and specialties. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of other nurses’ lives and careers, in all kinds of scenarios.
By: Kati L. Kleber
Based on the popular nursing blog called Nurse Eye Roll, this collection of anecdotes and advice came out in 2015. It is somewhat geared toward new nurses who are still making the transition between student and practicing nurse—but there is something for everyone here. Kleber talks about work/life balance in a humorous way and shares insights about working full-time at the bedside while juggling home and family.
By: Alexandra Robbins
Journalist Alexandra Robbins chronicles a year in the life of four hardworking nurses, after shadowing them for many months and gathering a rich well of material from which to draw. This New York Times bestseller is a dramatic and gritty look behind the scenes of our profession, exposing both the heroism of nursing and many of its troubling little secrets: the bullying, the workplace violence, the issue of drug abuse. It’s been described as a page-turner, and a shockingly honest look at our nation’s healthcare system, as seen through the eyes of nurses.
By: Papeterie Bleu Adult Coloring Books (publisher)
One of the biggest trends of the year was adult coloring books and this one is just for nurses, filled with snarky observations about bedpans, gurneys, and the need for caffeine. With an average Amazon rating of 4.9 stars, this would be a great holiday gift for the RNs on your list—or an end-of-year treat for yourself. Just add a pack of colored pencils or markers and you’re all set to feel the stress melt away with every page you color.
By: Theresa Brown
In this bestseller, practicing nurse and New York Times healthcare columnist Theresa Brown walks us through one 12-hour shift on a busy cancer ward in a large teaching hospital. The events are described as if they’re unfolding in real time, as Brown walks us through her day and four patients face the real-life drama of cancer treatment, life-altering medical decisions, family struggles, and mortality. (The patients are actually composite profiles, with facts altered to protect privacy.) It’s a riveting, day-in-the-life account of patient care that also pulls in the insider perspective on staffing ratios, patient acuity, medical documentation, and the importance of empathy in cancer care.
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