For nurses, training does not stop on graduation day. To provide the best care, nurses have to continue to grow and learn throughout their careers as science, technology and life evolve. These lessons can practical - learning how to use new machines and systems - or intensely human, like remembering the importance of taking care of yourself.
No matter where you are in your career, here's a list of books every nurse should read:
The path to becoming a nurse is not for the faint of heart. In "I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out", Lee Gutkind shares a collection of true stories that describe the ups and downs experienced by working nurses. Whether you're considering pursing a career in nursing or making your way through nursing school, this book gives a realistic description of what you might experience on the job.
Technology is affecting every industry, but how is it changing modern medicine? Robert Wachter explores that very question in "The Digital Doctor", a book that uses true stories and impossible-to-ignore analyses to paint the landscape of how computers are helping and hurting the delivery of quality care. For any patient or provider looking to explore that balance, "The Digital Doctor" is a solid choice.
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" By Rebecca Skloot
In 1951, doctors removed cancerous cells from a black woman named Henrietta Lacks. They discovered something miraculous and Lacks' cells have since been used to develop world-renowned vaccines, explore cloning and gene mapping, plus many other medical studies.
While these "HeLa" cells were sold by the billions, Lacks and her family never knew her cells were taken and they have continued to live in poverty with no recognition for the contributions Lacks' cells have made across the globe. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" explores the science, the facts and the emotions of a daughter who never truly knew her mother.
For medical professionals, this book serves as a glimpse into ethical and legal dilemmas that are still relevant now. If the book draws you in, you can also watch the HBO movie starring Oprah Winfrey.
"The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work" By Carmel Sheridan
Mindfulness is something nurses typically study while in they are in school; however, it's easy to lose sight of these skills when you're caught up in a hectic work schedule. "The Mindful Nurse" teaches key techniques for coping with day-to-day stresses and maintaining your compassion in the long run by helping you nurture others without depleting yourself, overcome compassion fatigue and burnout, reduce mistakes through managing attention and revive your love for your profession.
Whether you've already mastered mindfulness or you're struggling to cope, this book could be a powerful tool in any nurse's toolbox.
"Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not" By Florence Nightingale
Known as the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale sparked a flame over a hundred years ago that still casts light on the nursing profession today. Nightingale's "Notes on Nursing" is largely her account of what it means to be a nurse. The book is a collection of memos that were crucial in the revolution that introduced health care measures that would ultimately save countless lives.
For anyone looking to learn more about the early days of professional nursing, "Notes on Nursing" is a can't-miss read.