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7 Ultimate Nursing Books for Nurses of All Levels

Fill up your shopping cart with these 7 nursing books. They are all you need to help you become the best nurse you can be.

Nursing Books

We’ve outlined some of the best nursing books in this comparison table to make it easier to find the one that is right for you. You can click “Read More” on any of the books in the table to jump to the section in this article outlining more information about it. Or, you can click the “Buy from Amazon.com” button to pick it up immediately.

ImageProductRatingPriceMoreBuy it Now
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End 5.0$Read More
Anatomy of a Super Nurse5.0$$Read More
Trauma Stewardship4.7$$Read More
Daring Greatly4.7$Read More
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself 4.6$Read More
Getting Things Done4.4$Read More
Fat Loss Forever5$$$Read More

Beyond the How-To

These books are way more than just how to remember meds or policies. They are also filled with more than just nurse stories.

I hand-picked each of these books because they are focused on holistic self-care. How can we possibly care for everyone else if we aren’t taking care of ourselves first?

Put these on your must-read list. Each one has something unique to offer. The information in these books is helpful in acclimating to the lifestyle of being a nurse, which requires mindfulness, self-compassion, productivity, actively preventing weight gain, as well as identifying with nurse stories.

Take some me-time and read through these books. They will help you become a more centered, healthy, and confident person – which will make you a better nurse.

These aren’t in any particular order. I couldn’t prioritize them, they all have something different and vital to offer.

Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Let’s start the list with the Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. This is a book that explores the philosophy of dealing with the end of life. It will really get you thinking and stretch you beyond your comfort zone.

What Its About

Atul Gawande is not only a best-selling author but a surgeon as well. In this book, he explores how those in the medical profession treat the end of life. Often people try to extend life – sometimes at the detriment of the sufferer. Other times, practices like pinning the elderly to the bed to keep them safe – cause the end of their life to be full of isolation and pain.

Gawande explores different models for helping the sick and dependent elderly. He writes about the varieties of hospice care to show that a patient’s last days can actually be rich and dignified.

Why You Should Read It

As nurses, we are focused on healing and preventing death – and rightfully so. However, it is so important to think about what we believe about the end of life and how to help people experience it in an as dignified and peaceful way as possible.

This book has both solid research and heart-moving storytelling that make it a compelling read.

Anatomy of a Super Nurse: Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey

Anatomy of a Super Nurse: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming NurseyAnatomy of a Super Nurse: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming NurseyAnatomy of a Super Nurse: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey

The next book on the list is one I wrote for all the new nurses that are feeling overwhelmed or just want a few tips.

What Its About

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey is super easy to read over and over again. It has practical tips for becoming a nurse and is used by hospitals and nursing schools all over the country. The term “ultimate guide” really is spot on. This book is a new nurse’s best friend. It covers everything you need to know as you transition from stressed-out student to a nursing professional.

Why You Should Read It

I wrote this book with the American Nurses Association as a valuable tool for new nurses. In fact, there is even an entire chapter dedicated to surviving nursing school, so buy this while you are still in school.

Everything you need to know as a nurse – codes, procedures, even time management –  is covered in my book. It will be your best friend.  If you want more, be sure to check out my other books.

Trauma Stewardship

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for OthersTrauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for OthersTrauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

The next book all nurses should read is Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk. Your feelings will be validated, understanding how depleting your role as a nurse can be.

What Its About

This book outlines all the physical and emotional tolls nurses experience from caring for others nonstop. Then, it shares actionable steps for processing these traumas and nurturing ourselves so we have more to give.

Why You Should Read It

Every single nurse – no matter where they work – will experience some sort of trauma. It isn’t something people admit or talk enough about. All nurses need this book so they can understand how to process emotional trauma. Arm yourself with valuable mental tools you can use before you are emotionally miserable.

Daring Greatly

The book Daring Greatly by Brené Brown empowers people to finally have the courage to be vulnerable.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

What Its About

What is a vulnerability and why is it important in the life of a nurse? In her book, Brené Brown outlines the power of vulnerability based on 12 years of research. With compassion and inspiration, she shows you how to harness the power of vulnerability and make it work for you in big ways.

Why You Should Read It

All nurses have to have those tough conversations – either with other nurses or with patients and family members. This book gives you the courage to be vulnerable and not be afraid of difficult situations. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to stop being afraid to be real and honest.

 

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Another nursing book you need to have on your bookshelf is Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff. Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity in high school where it belongs. This book is powerful!

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to YourselfSelf-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to YourselfSelf-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

What Its About

Full of expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life. Psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients. This book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.

Why You Should Read It

This book is useful for anyone in any field – not just nurses. But how many times as a nurse do we give compassion to everyone else, except ourselves? We are so critical of ourselves, and this book takes you through techniques and new ways of thinking that will allow you to be gentle and kind to yourself. It provides a structured way to prevent burnout and maximize your professional enjoyment.

I suggest investing in the workbook too. It breaks down the points in the book into goals and steps you can take immediately.

Workbook:

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and ThriveThe Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and ThriveThe Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

No matter how many hours you put into your job, you need this book for your days off. Getting Things Done by David Allen teaches you how to not be lazy on your days off – even though it is incredibly tempting.

What Its About

David Allen teaches one main theme in this book: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. His methods have helped tens of thousands of people organize their thoughts and achieve their potential.

Why You Should Read It

Our personal lives shouldn’t suffer just because we give so much to our profession. As enjoyable as it might be to let everything go on our days off, it will all catch up to us eventually.

Read this book so you can learn how to accomplish everything on your lists – both at home and at work.

Fat Loss Forever – How to Lose Fat and Keep It Off

Fat Loss Forever: How to Lose Fat and KEEP it OffFat Loss Forever: How to Lose Fat and KEEP it OffFat Loss Forever: How to Lose Fat and KEEP it Off

Make your health and your body a priority. If you have struggled with other diets or weight loss things before, read Fat Loss Forever – How to Lose Fat and Keep It Off by Layne Norton and Peter Baker.

What Its About

This isn’t a diet, this teaches you about nutrition and how to fuel your body efficiently. It demonstrates ways to count micronutrients and how to change your lifestyle so you can have a sustainable way to eat and live.

Why You Should Read It

You should read this book because it works – I and my husband are proof. My husband lost 25 pounds and I lost 14 pounds after a year of not being able to get back to my pre-baby weight. As nurses, our health has a direct impact on our jobs. Discover how to get to a healthy weight so you look and feel your best.

Our job as a nurse is a huge responsibility and privilege. We get to make a real difference in this world. But in all your work, don’t forget to keep yourself a priority. Each of these books was handpicked because they help you become a better nurse by growing into a stronger, more confident person.

What nursing book would you recommend?