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7 Must Read Books Nurses Say Inspired Them

Submitted by Admin on February 19, 2010, 12:02 pm
inspiring books for nurses

We asked experienced nurses from all over the country to share their most inspiring reads with us. From nurses with specialties ranging from oncology to home health to intermediate care, here are seven popular nursing books to add to your reading list:

1. From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice
by Patricia E. Benner

Several nurses steered us towards this immensely popular book. Marcia Musgrove, BSN, RN says she appreciates it because it "acknowledges the vast amount of knowledge and experience that nurses gain in their learning journey....When nurses change nursing specialties, they may go right back to being a 'novice' and go through the learning curve again as they gain in expertise."

Infection Prevention Nurse Sallie Jo Rivera, RN, MSN, CIC, adds, "While practicing nursing in my early years I felt frustrated because I didn't feel like I knew everything I needed to do the best job possible for my patient. From Novice to Expert reinforced for me that life-long learning is important and that it takes time to grow and mold and become the most effective you can be in your role. Those thoughts helped me to cope with my frustration as I have practiced nursing."

2. How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

by Sherwin B. Nuland

With a decade of hospice nursing under her belt, Paula Schneider, RN, BSN, MPH, CHPN, says that this is her favorite book to help nurses and lay people alike understand disease processes and how they end lives. However, even if your specialty isn't hospice, don't let that stop you from reading this compelling text.

3. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying

by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley

This is another popular choice among hospice nurses such as Nancy Costea, RN, CHPN, who has been continuously employed in the field since 1979 in a variety of settings. She turns to Final Gifts time and again to deepen her understanding of the emotional and spiritual aspects of the dying process. "The real life examples chronicled in the book are clear, engaging, and to-the-point," she says. "I was privileged to attend a talk by the authors some years ago, and I consider them role models for my own hospice practice." Final Gifts even inspired Costea to write her own vocational memoir (as yet unpublished).

4. Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents with Cancer

edited by Christina Rasco Baggott et al

In 1985, Kathy Trimble started working as a pediatric oncology nurse clinician. The Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at her workplace loaned her a copy of Nursing Care. Over twenty years later, Trimble still calls this text "informational and inspirational," and says she has gone on to buy every edition. "I have used this text book as a valuable reference. I have used it as a study tool when preparing for my Pediatric Oncology Certification," says Trimble, RN, BSN, CPON, CPN.

5. From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public

by Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon

This is a unique book-one that every practicing nurse willl want to read now and every person aspiring to become a nurse MUST read to understand nursing. Alida Wagner, RN, MSN, CNS, CEN. says that From Silence to Voice changed her entire outlook on her role as a professional nurse, and calls it "A very powerful book for nurses about the importance of communicating what we do and portraying an image of professionalism to our patients and the public"

Claire M. Fagin, PHD,RN Dean Emerita, Professor Emerita, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing said, "In my own work and my work with other nurses, I've discovered how reluctant some of us are to toot our horns and broadcast our accomplishments. Our self-silencing is a detriment to quality patient care and real health care reform. This book can be a catalyst for a new approach by nurses to public education and communication."

Most of all, this is a book of ideas; refreshingly fresh ideas which I guarantee you will read from front to back. From Silence to Voice makes you take a long, hard look at our wonderful profession and offers some potent suggestions for our future.

6. Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses, and the Social Organization of Ethics

by Daniel F. Chambliss

"[Chambliss] discusses the ways nurses routinize their work in order to make...the intolerable tolerable," explains Sarah J. Perry, RN, MSN. "I first read Chambliss while in graduate school and found his observations very pertinent to my experience in hospitals over a period of 30 years. I have recommended this book to nurses of varying years of experience, partly for the insights he provides and partly because I came away from it with the sense that Chambliss really likes nurses."

7. Transcultural Nursing: Assessment and Intervention

edited by Joyce Newman Giger, Ruth Elaine Davidhizar

Susan G. Chicano RN, BSN, CMSRN has been a nurse for more than 25 years and now specializes in intermediate care. She says that in her 15 years with Central DuPage Hospital, she has witnessed an increasing diversity in staff and patients. "In order to be excellent and effective in dealing with our patients, clients, and colleagues, we are expected to be transculturally sensitive, informed and trained," she says. "This book gives us a better understanding of the characteristics, beliefs and health care practices of different cultures and helps us in creating the appropriate patient plan of care."

Which books inspired you to become a nurse, helped you deepen your practice, or cast a different light on some aspect of nursing? Please share your picks with other nurses by leaving a comment.

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