16 Must-Read Books for Nurses

Nurses are the professionals who experience stress and workload for a longer period on a regular basis. This results into emotional enervation and burnout. Even effective measures adopted to get relief seem baseless in such a condition, and at the end, you are left with no clue about how to get rid of the exhaustion.

To overcome this physical, mental or emotional breakdown, you can indulge yourself into reading. You may be unaware of the fact that reading has been proved as one of the best ways to deduct the stress levels and it also helps you work better and faster. There are some books available in the market which have their own unique benefits as per the perspective of nurses. Thus, we have made a list of the books that ever nurse must read. These books about nursing will not only advance your knowledge but also soothe your mind.


1. Cooked: An Inner City Nursing Memoir
by Carol Karels

It is a nursing drug book and a non-fictional story about a nurse who practiced at a west-side Chicago clinical facility. This was the time when the use of drugs was not under control. She lets everybody know about her nursing experience as a whole, they way she dealt with success and stress as well. In short, this book offers an interesting and great outlook about nursing. All nurses out there can definitely relate it to their lives.

2. Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness by Anne Waugh

It is one of the most fascinating books that traditionally explains about physiology and anatomy of human body. It describes the state of the body when certain ailments occur.

3. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande

This book is about a surgeon and the experiences he had gone through while working. He mentioned the merits and disadvantages of the profession. Thus, giving a perfect look in the field.

4. Saving Lives: Why the Media’s Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk by Sandy Summers

You may have seen the work places and lives of nursing professionals on television; this book reveals the truth about it. The way in which nurses are portrayed on the shows and movies is non-realistic up to a great extent. Sandy Summers explains how nursing practitioners are portrayed as supply-gatherers or pill givers instead of people with great knowledge. According to her, this results in a lack of belief among the patients towards the nurses. Thus, in this book, she is trying to improvise this image of the professionals.

5. Intensive Care: The Story of a Nurse by Echo Heron

Though this book by Echo Heron was published in 1980, it still is one of the most favorite critical care nursing books. The writer gives a description about her work and experiences. Heron still helps the nurses who work in critical rooms and environments.

6. When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming the Cycle of Bullying by Cheryl Dellasega

Being a nurse, you must be known to the fact about the disputes and conflicts among co-workers who work in close quarters for a long period of time. This book has a detailed discussion of it. Besides this, there are also measures provided in order to find out the limit of nurse bullying and about how to get over certain confrontational conditions

7. Health Assessment & Physical Examination by Mary Ellen Zator Estes

If you want to get a practical description of basic healthcare that nurses need to provide to the patients, you should read this comprehensive nursing diagnosis book. It explains everything with examples and colored pictures. Information that this book comprises is clinical examination tricks and techniques, development assessment, instructions for patients. Not only psychosocial but also on the physical development of patient is considered as the best approach to care in ‘ Health Assessment & Physical Examination.’

8. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary edited by Donald Venes, Clayton L. Thomas, and Clarence Wilbur Taber

Whether a nursing professional or student, ‘Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary’ is considered as a great resource for nurses. In this book, everything is explained in the form of charts, tables which make it out of the ordinary. Moreover, it is filled with colorful illustrations which make it quite interesting to read. It comes along with a thumb index, which makes it easy for you to read about what you are searching for.

9. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

If you love reading humorous books, this would be one of the best nursing books for you. Spencer Johnson is a doctor who discusses 4 types of personalities who deal with changes in their own unique way. Nurses come across certain changes on a regular basis, and this book offers some tricky ways to handle such situations. Moreover, while reading, you will get to know about what type of personality you are and what you can do to balance everything.

10. Too Busy For Your Own Good: Get More Done in Less Time With Even More Energy by Connie Merritt

Serving the patients with the best you have becomes a routine of almost every healthcare professional. This is something they can not compromise on. Meanwhile, they forget about themselves completely, which results into several illnesses in their own bodies. The writer is herself a nurse shares her experience about how she got hospitalized due to long working hours and stress that comes along with nursing jobs. In this book, she explains about the importance of prioritizing things in such a busy and hectic life, on the basis of all she went through.

11. Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes, 7th edition by Meg Gulanick and Judith L. Meyers

If you have dealt with different kinds of ailments and sometimes it is difficult for you to make a suitable plan for them, this book can be your best partner. It covers about 200 plans to handle some common illnesses. This nursing care plan book are presented in a very user-friendly manner and eases your workload. Its new edition also includes plans for Solid Organ Transplant, Fibromyalgia and Cystic Fibrosis.

12. Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses by Cynthia Saver

It is often recommended as one of the best Anatomy and Physiology books for nurses that help on writing. It offers you many writing ideas to publish books or academic journals in a variety of mediums. This is a perfect write up for the nurses who want to work as published authors.

13. Conspiracies of Kindness: The Craft of Compassion at the Bedside of the Ill by Michael Ortiz

This book is about the importance of compassion and explains that it is not just you have it or not. It is something that can be developed as a skill or art. Compassion helps you to become a highly efficient nurse. ‘Conspiracies of Kindness: The Craft of Compassion at the Bedside of the Ill’ is recommended by various nurses in different specializations.

14. Inspired Nurse by Rich Bluni

Rich Bluni is a registered nurse who is aware of a both the pros and cons associated with the profession. The writer has concentrated on the truth that burnout and difficulties faced by nurses in everyday life blow away the fire of enthusiasm and inspiration to serve patients. This book will make you feel the vehemence that you had for nursing when you started. It must be a part of the bookshelf of every nurse.

15. The Comfort Garden, Tales from the Trauma Unit by Laurie Barkin

‘The Comfort Garden, Tales from the Trauma Unit’ is a psychiatric nursing diagnosis book that explains the crucial role of psychiatric support for nurses who are vulnerable to numerous traumatic events. It is a heart touching book which informs about the real life of a psychiatric nurse in a surgical and trauma unit for about 5 years.

16. The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for Living and Dying from a Hospice Counselor by Maria Dancing Heart

Fear of death is often more among the people with certain ailments. Due to this, their lives become more difficult. Hospice nurse book on dying is something that proves life to be a life’s last adventure rather than fearful and scary. The writer is a Hospice Counselor, and in the book she has accumulated all her experience which is to help others to deal with the fear of death and inspires people to think of it as a peaceful transition. Healthcare professionals are the most important part of our society that needs to deal with several patients who are left with no hope or excitement towards the life because of the agitation of the end of their life. Nurses can use the tips and tricks provided in this book and can assist their patients to cope up with the fear of death.