Best Books for Nurses In 2021 [ Reviews & Buying Guide ]​

We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan

Our Top Choices for Books for Nurses

1. We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American

We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan

We Band of Angels is one of the best books for nurses or aspiring nurses in search of an inspirational book. Based on the true story of the American nurses trapped in Bataan during the Second World War, this volume reveals letters, diaries, and riveting firsthand accounts of those who sacrificed their lives to save others.

A book that speaks about dedication to a cause, empathy, and faithfulness to an oath; those nurses established healthcare bases in the middle of the fiery hell caused by Japanese bombs raining down over the American troops.

This story about brave women who gave up their own safety to help those devastated by the injuries of war was written by Elizabeth R. Norman, the daughter of two WWII veterans.

A former registered nurse herself, Norman successfully describes the horror of those days and the braveness of those women.

Not only this is an exceptional inspirational book for nurses tackling the idea of pursuing a military career, but it is also an excellent read for nurses – as well as everyone else – with an interest in history.

2. Nursing 2020 Drug Handbook Fortieth Edition

Nursing2020 Drug Handbook

One of the main tasks nurses have is that of administering medication to their patients. Thus, it’s no wonder why the Nursing2020 Drug Handbook is on top of our list.

More than a mere list of all drugs and medications out there, this handbook will become your trustworthy guide and one of the most useful books in your career. This new edition comprises all drugs currently available on the market, and besides explaining ingredients and pharmaceutical form, it also lets you know how and when to administer each drug.

Furthermore, the handbook also tells you what medicines should be taken on an empty stomach and which ones after eating.

Not only this book can be your go-to guide when you see a new medication prescribed. It can also help you educate your patients on how to take their medicines at home.

The 2020 edition comes in paperback and Kindle formats. We strongly recommend the former, as the electronic book is not exactly user-friendly.

That said, this handbook is an excellent buy, and undoubtedly a volume that should be in every nurse’s pocket.

3. “Oh Sh*t

Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You

Did you ever think that nursing school can teach you everything you need to know in your career? Obviously, it teaches you the basics of human anatomy and physiology, trains you to take care of your patients, and even shows you how to perform medical procedures.

However, the nursing school can rarely prepare you to actually be a nurse. And that’s where this witty book comes in.

Written by a registered nurse, the volume is half-way between how-to-guide and memoir. The author doesn’t tell you how to do your job; it rather reassures you that feeling lost or not knowing what to do at all given moments is okay.

Sonja Schwartzbach, the author, holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as a bachelor’s of arts in English literature. She’s a registered nurse as well as a blogger for the Huffington Post and knows how to express her feelings and worries in a light, humorous way.

The book is perfect for nursing students and new nurses who need a bit of inspiration, as well as for the veteran nurses in need of a light read and a good laugh.

Available in audiobook, Kindle, and paperback formats, this book also makes a great gift for the nurse in your life.

4. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

Not exactly about nurses but definitely for nurses, the Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu is an inspirational book like no other.

It is ideal for nurses who struggle with the burdens put on them by their careers. When you become a nurse, the entire society starts to require your attention. Juggling between work and home is often hard, and mental health is rarely talked about.

If you feel stressed, anxious, or don’t find a purpose in what you do anymore, then this book is for you.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureates Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu have packed all their knowledge and life experiences into this book that aims to answer questions such as how to find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering.

Revealing intimate stories, the Book of Joy can teach you how to overcome daily obstacles such as fear, stress, anger, illness, and even grief or death.

More than mere literature, the Book of Joy aims to teach you how to find the right emotional balance and spiritual fulfillment needed to carry on your profession – as well as general life choices  – with pride and joy.

5. The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story

The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story

Another inspirational book for aspiring nurses, The Language of Kindness, is the story of Christie Watson, author of the book and former registered nurse. In her intimate, remarkably powerful writing, Watson takes us down hospital corridors and shows us how a nurse can make a difference in their patients’ lives.

This book is a selection of independent stories that show the ugly face of illness and the impact nurses can make, especially for their critical or terminal patients. The point of the book is that nurses are capable of delivering kindness when it’s most needed, not only vital care.

Inspirational for both nurses and patients, the book encompasses the core values of this career. It not only teaches the urgency of compassion in nurses, but it also tells patients they need to be compassionate too – after all, we’re all going to need a nurse sooner or later.

Working as a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full-time, Watson is an internationally acclaimed author based in London. Her first novel won the Costa First Novel Award, and The Language of Kindness has also been recognized as an international bestseller.

6. EKG/ECG Interpretation: Everything you Need to Know

EKG/ECG Interpretation: Everything you Need to Know about the 12-Lead ECG/EKG Interpretation and How to Diagnose and Treat Arrhythmias

Shifting from inspirational literature to some of the best technical books for nurses, the EKG/ECG Interpretation book is an essential guide for most caregivers.

Perhaps you believe it’s only a good buy for nurses in cardiology wards, but the truth is that all nurses should know how to interpret the EKG results so that they can effectively diagnose and treat arrhythmia.

Aiming to teach you everything you need to know about this subject matter, this must-have book is a complete study guide particularly useful for nursing students and new nurses.

The guide comes complete with useful questions after each chapter, as well as interesting questionnaires aimed to help you learn faster.

Arrhythmia apart, the guide also teaches you how to diagnose and treat an array of other cardiovascular conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and more. Furthermore, it also covers fundamental concepts and all important principles of each disease, so you can easily diagnose the issue.

Despite being a handbook, the EKG/ECG Interpretation is one of the best books for nurses aiming to work in cardiology or emergency medicine settings.

7. Inspired Nurse

Inspired Nurse

Defined as an uplifting read by most nurses and non-nurses who have read it, the Inspired Nurse is just what it sounds like. An inspirational book aimed to make a nurse’s day brighter.

This is one of the best books for nurses who don’t find joy in their careers anymore. For those questioning their professional choice, or those who are particularly tired and frustrated after a 12-hour shift that’s turned into 14+ hours.

If you have lost your energy and passion, Rich Bluni, a registered nurse himself, reminds nurses what made them become caregivers.

More than literature, this is a thought-provoking workbook with loads of action-oriented spiritual stretches and personal stories aimed to lit the light that’s gone off into some of us.

Besides personal anecdotes, the book also contains an impressive amount of actionable advice and tips to deal with all emotions related to nursing, from joy and wonder to gratitude, sadness, and grief.

Indeed, this book can provide the right motivation for nurses to stay engaged and committed to providing extraordinary patient care in terms of both empathy and clinical outcomes.

8. Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide

Nurse Practitioner's Business Practice and Legal Guide

One of the best books for nurse practitioners or those aiming to become one, the Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide is a must-have resource that explains the legal issues relevant to this category of practitioners.

Completely updated and revised, the sixth edition of the book answers some of the most common questions nurse practitioners may ask, provides state by state practice laws, regulatory developments, prosecutions, and new case analyses.

Besides issues regarding compliance, the book also explains the main differences between primary and acute care and highlights malpractice cases that should help you understand what to do or not do to stay out of trouble.

Useful for most practitioners, the book also includes general guidelines around prescribing controlled drugs and opioids.

Chapters on clinical performance measures, electronic record keeping, and nursing practitioners’ responsibilities, add further value. Furthermore, the volume also includes a chapter about new opportunities for nurse practitioners under the Affordable Care Act.

Undoubtedly a great read to add you to your library, this business practice and legal guide comes in hard copy or Kindle issues, so you can buy the most appropriate version.

9. Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing

Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing

Perhaps the perfect Christmas or birthday gift for the nurse in your life, Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing, is exactly what it sounds like. A humorous book full of jokes, anecdotes, and other creative stories collected from nursing books, journals, and the internet.

The purpose of the book is that of highlighting the funny side of even the most challenging situation.

All stories and anecdotes are inspired by real experiences of registered nurses, but the best part is that these stories truly relate to situations that only the nurses who have “been there” can relate to.

While nurses-to-be might not yet understand all the humor in this book, the volume can surely offer an accurate insight into what it’s like to work in healthcare.

Divided into various chapters, the volume comprises some of the best pieces of humorous and creative writing published over the past 20 years, funny cartoons and illustrations, as well as life-inspired stories meant to help nurses see the humor in all situations.

This fine collection of entertaining stories comes in paperback format only, but we can hardly call this a downside. No doubt, this book is an excellent gift.

10. Stuck Up!: 100 Objects Inserted and Ingested in Places They

Stuck Up!: 100 Objects Inserted and Ingested in Places They Shouldn’t Be

Another great gift for nurses and not only, Stuck Up! is a funny collection of x-ray images containing foreign objects either ingested or inserted into the human bodies accidentally or on purpose – a compilation that clearly shows that the human imagination has no limits.

An excellent book, especially for the aspirant emergency nurses who don’t really know what to expect during their practice.

If you now think about objects such as erotic toys or feminine hygiene products, think again. The images in this volume show the quirkiest side of human nature and reveal a whole range of objects that got stuck in places where the sun doesn’t shine, including cell phones, baby shoes, Barbie dolls, and similar items.

Besides objects that ended up being used for something completely different than their intended purpose, the compilation also includes images of ingested objects that ended up threatening the patients’ lives.

So, if you’re tackling the idea of an ER nursing career, this volume can give you a glimpse of how creative patients can be. Hilarious images apart, the book also provides some medical information and insights on how the objects got there.

Not only for nurses, this book is also a great gift for other healthcare professionals, including ER doctors, GPs, and radiologists.