Nursing Books (2023) – How to Increase Your Knowledge-base?


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    Hi there!

    Welcome to the most authoritative guide listing and briefly describing nursing books.

    After reading this comprehensive article, we guarantee that you will know the different nursing books and why they are important to nurses.

    This article will specifically cover the following topics:

    Types of nursing books
    A review of essential nursing books
    Why nursing books are important

    Ready to learn about the books that nurses read?

    Please tag along as we explore this exciting subject of nursing books.

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      Different types of nursing books 

      Reading habits influence the depth and width of a successful nurse practitioner.

      Good nurses should read widely to increase their technical and practical nursing knowledge.

      Here are the different nursing books that nurses read:

      1. Nursing textbooks

      Whether you’re pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or any other nursing training, you will likely use nursing textbooks.

      Nursing school books are the essential books used by nursing students in different nursing schools.

      The textbooks for nursing students will typically outline the principles of clinical nursing practice, diagnosis, illness prevention, and patient healthcare.

      All nursing college books will ideally touch on pediatrics, pharmacology, geriatrics, gerontology, women’s health, neonatal care, and critical care nursing.

      Nursing specialties such as medical-surgical nursing and psychiatric mental health nursing often use more advanced nursing textbooks than ordinary nursing programs.

      Here are a few typical nursing textbooks:

      • Drug guide [Drug therapy in nursing (4th edition)]
      • Care plans [Maternal newborn nursing care plans (third edition)]
      • Nursing diagnosis handbooks (Nurse Diagnosis handbook – An evidence-based guide)
      • Nursing review books (Kaplan’s NCLEX-RN review guide)
      • Nursing care books (An essential guide for nurses and healthcare workers in primary and secondary care)

      Notable nursing textbook authors include Mosby, Lippincott, Linda Anne Silvestri, Lewis, and Saunders

      2. Nursing examination reviews and study guides

      All nurses must pass nationally administered nursing licensure exams before professionally practicing in their different nursing designations.

      Nursing licensing examinations are usually challenging, and most students fail the exams because they don’t understand the scope and structure of the exam.

      Nursing Books

      To improve the chances of passing HESI and NCLEX-RN examinations, nursing students often use nursing exam reviews and study guides to prepare for the exams.

      The nurse exam books usually contain nursing quizzes, flashcards, and practice exams which help candidates adequately prepare for the licensing exam.

      Nursing study books help nursing students organize their nursing education and focus their efforts on relevant and often tested exam topics.

      Popular nursing reviews and study guides include the HESI A2 study guide, Saunders NCLEX-RN examination guide (7th edition), and the Barron’s CCRN Exam with online test guide.

      3. Continuing education nursing books

      As with other healthcare professions, nurses need to meet specific hours of Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) every couple of years.

      The Continuing Education Units ensure that nursing practitioners maintain the highest professionalism in their nursing practice.

      Continuing education nursing books help nurse practitioners:

      • Learn new nursing skills and techniques
      • Satisfy statutory nursing requirements
      • Polish their nursing knowledge
      • Identify new nursing career paths
      • Learn about emerging healthcare trends and challenges

      Standard continuing education guide books include the ultimate continuing education guide and the Continuing Nurse Education Guide.

      4. Academic Research Books and journals

      The field of nursing requires a lifetime of study as new healthcare trends, challenges and techniques pop up daily.

      And since nursing is a research and evidence-based practice, nurses often read academic papers, literature, journals, and books.

      Nurses often read medical and nursing journals covering different topics depending on their nursing interests and career objectives.

      Whether it’s scientific nursing books for beginners or more experienced nursing professionals, scientific literature improves a nurse’s technical ability.

      Nursing journals disseminate high-quality nursing information using scientific experimentation and evidence-based data.

      Popular nursing journals include the American journal of nursing, the journal of clinical nursing, the clinical journal of oncology nursing, and Nursing Informatics for the Advanced Nurse (3rd edition).

      5. Nursing magazines

      Nursing magazines are periodicals that take a less traditional view of the nursing profession and provide different types of nursing content, including stories, testimonies, and real-life experiences.

      These types of nursing books are great for nurses who need to wind down from the pressures of nursing.

      Nursing magazines cover different topics, including nursing technology, societal issues in nursing (drug abuse, racism), and nurse education.

      Professional nursing bodies publish most nursing magazines to educate, motivate, and inspire their readers.

      Nursing magazines are essential in putting nurses in the loop about current issues in the nursing profession.

      The only difference between nursing magazines and nursing journals is that nursing magazines tend to be less formal and feature topics across a broader range of issues compared to journals.

      A few authoritative nursing magazines include Scrubs magazine, Minority nurse magazine, and the National nurse magazine.

      6. Non-fiction nursing novels

      Non-fiction nursing novels are the rage now, with well-known nurse writers crafting internationally acclaimed nonfiction bestsellers.

      Renowned authors like Rebbeca Skloot, Donna Cardillo, and Theresa Brown have produced highly acclaimed nursing novels that deal with nursing ethics, real-life stories, and personal nursing experiences.

      Non-fiction nursing novels are an excellent read for all types of nurses across all nursing specialties and education levels.

      These nursing novels bring out the human nature of nurses, their struggles, triumphs, and successes as nurses.

      Popular nursing novels include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The comfort garden, Critical Care, and A nurses story.

      7. Nursing Encyclopedia

      Nursing encyclopedias are a must-have for all qualified and aspiring nursing professionals that contain all the information a nurse requires to execute their duties.

      The nursing encyclopedia contains a comprehensive list of diseases, treatment and care plans, laboratory tests, symptoms, and other essential nursing information.

      New and experienced nursing practitioners benefit from the in-depth and scientifically sound information available in the nursing encyclopedia.

      Additionally, the encyclopedia format and direct writing style ensure that nurses quickly find and understand the information they seek.

      Examples of popular nursing encyclopedias include the Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, Encyclopedia of Nursing Education (1st edition), and the Encyclopedia of nursing research 

      8. Nursing practice manuals

      Nursing practice manuals are reference books that guide nurses in different areas of patient care and nursing practices.

      Some of the topics nursing manuals and workbooks cover include:

      • Patient education
      • Nursing equipment use
      • Nursing practice and processes
      • Nursing terminologies
      • Principles of pathophysiology
      • Emergency and psychiatric nursing

      Nurse practice manuals are widely used by nursing students and more experienced RNs during their studies and operations.

      Popular nursing practice manuals include the Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice (11th edition), Professional Nursing Practice (7th edition), and the Health Assessment for Nursing Practice (6th edition).

      A review of standard nursing books

      Here is a list of the common RN nursing books:

      1. Saunders NCLEX-RN Examination guide (7th edition)

      The NCLEX-RN examination guide (Linda Anne Silvestri, 7th edition) provides a comprehensive NCLEX-RN review, including test quizzes and answers.

      2. Nursing diagnosis handbook – Evidence-based guide to planning care

      The nursing diagnosis handbook (Betty J. Ackley) helps nurses make correct medical diagnoses of patients ‘ health symptoms.

      3. Oncology Nursing Drug Handbook (12th edition)

      The oncology nursing drug handbook (Gail M Wilkes, 12th edition) provides Oncology nurses with a comprehensive review of drugs, treatments, and interventions used in the care of cancer patients.

      4. Drug guide for nursing students (Fourteenth Edition)

      The Mosby drug guide for nursing students is a comprehensive drug reference book featuring over 1000 commonly used medical drugs.

      The book contains dosage charts and safe drug administration methods.

      5. RNotes Nurse’s Clinical pocket guide (fourth edition)

      The RNotes pocket guide is a thorough nursing guide that provides vital nursing information concerning health assessments, insulin regimens, pediatric assessments, and urgent care nursing.

      Importance of nursing books

      Nurses read a lot of nursing books throughout their professional nursing careers.

      But why is it important for nurses to read nursing books?

      Understand nursing principles

      Nursing is a technical discipline that requires a deep and thorough understanding of nursing principles.

      Nursing books provide nursing students with a solid technical foundation to launch their nursing careers.

      Prepare for nursing exams

      Nursing exam guides help nursing students adequately prepare for nurse licensing exams.

      The NCLEX-RN guides usually contain sample questions, answers, quizzes, and exam tips.

      Grow your nursing knowledge

      The medical world is constantly changing, and nurses need to read extensively to update their nursing knowledge.

      Nursing journals and revised editions of nursing textbooks always provide nurses with relevant and up-to-date nursing information.

      Confirm facts and figures

      Evidence-based nursing is a principle that all nursing practitioners and, in extension, health professionals follow.

      Nurses use treatment guides, dosage plans, nursing references, and other RN books to confirm that the nursing process follows the recommended procedures and plans.

      Nursing books format

      Nursing books come in various formats, making them convenient even for nursing students and nurses with disabilities.

      Here are the various types of formats for nursing books:


      Nursing audiobooks are great for nurses who have some eyesight disability or those who prefer to listen rather than read.

      Though they have some limitations, especially for visual images, nursing audiobooks are gaining popularity, especially for non-technical nursing topics.

      Hardcopy nursing books

      Hardcopy nursing books are widely used across all spectrums of the nursing practice.

      The physical nursing books are great for nurses who prefer the feel and touch of paper between their fingers and are great for visual content.

      Standard hardcopy nursing books include paperbacks and hard copy versions.  

      Soft copy nursing books

      Most nursing books now have a digital version that allows nurses to access nursing content online.

      Ebooks are portable, easy to download, and don’t take space, making them popular among nurses.

      Common nursing digital formats include pdf, epub, and kindle file formats.


      Nursing books are vital to the nursing practice as they provide nurses with the technical nursing foundation needed to offer high-quality patient care and nursing services.

      And while there are hundreds of nursing books, most nurses only use a handful, usually nursing textbooks.

      But the truth is that nurses have a wide variety of nursing books that can help them grow both intellectually, morally, and socially.

      Our comprehensive article has given an in-depth breakdown of the available types of nursing books and why nurses should read them.

      We hope that you have enjoyed this nursing book guide and that we have answered your question.

      Please continue reading for answers to our reader’s frequently asked questions.




      Nurse Beth

      Nurse Beth, Registered nurse (RN). Has more than 10 years of experience helping people get started in their nursing careers. She is an expert and helping people pass their CNA, NCLEX RN, NCLEX PN, HESI A2, and TEAS exams.

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