Three Narrative Books Inspired by Real Stories Every Nursing Student Should Read

Nursing school isn’t for the faint-hearted. Many students drop out of nursing school or give up during the first year. That usually happens because students ignore self-care, leading them to become overwhelmed and burned out. 

As a nursing student, you’ll need to excel at challenging coursework like medical surgery, pharmacology, evidence-based practice, and pathophysiology. Similarly, you’ll have to go through multiple hours of clinical rotation and lab work. All these will make you feel stressed and uncertain about your future. 

That’s why you might need an outlet to help deal with all that stress. But you don’t want to waste your time playing games or watching a movie. Therefore, you should unwind and learn more about the nursing career by reading books that tell the stories of real nurses in action. 

In this blog, we’ll mention three books that discuss the real-life stories of different types of nurses in the medical industry.

Why Should Nurses Read Books Inspired by Real-Life Stories?

Every student in their early nursing education stages will need to decompress after a long day of lectures, clinical rotations, assignments, coursework, etc. For instance, a 4-year pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) course teaches you about practical evidence-based practices to equally serve diverse communities. You’ll access hands-on clinical trials and get to develop critical thinking skills in a safe medical setting. 

However, getting access to these opportunities means you’ll need to undergo physically and mentally demanding study sessions and clinical shifts. Spending all your time on coursework will eventually make you feel overwhelmed and less enthusiastic about your career. 

Yes, amid the intensity of the BSN program, it’s important to give your mind a break. If you enjoy reading but don’t want to waste time on fiction, then you can buy creative non-fiction books based on real-life tales of nurses. 

Just spending a few minutes reading these nursing books will give you an idea of the conflict, workload, benefits, and scenarios you can face as a nurse. You get to learn how to balance professionalism with kindness. The stories can also change your mindset, help you remember why you chose nursing as a career, and help you focus on what’s important.

3 Compelling Nursing Books You Should Add to Your Reading List

Reading true stories about nurses and their careers will help expand your knowledge. If you’re taking study breaks and want to unwind, you can pick up any of the following books: 

#1. ‘I Wasn’t Strong Like This:’ True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

Takeaway: Life as a nurse will be tough, but you have to face those challenges with compassion, dignity, and professionalism. 

Lee Gutkind has written and edited numerous books about medical technologies and the science behind medicine. In the book True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, he compiled and edited authentic life stories of nurses in the field. 

If you’re looking to understand the spiritual side of nursing and sympathize with the journeys of hard-working nurses, this is the book for you. It discusses the daily tribulations and emotional challenges every nurse faces in their career. Each story highlights how they gracefully meet the demands of their professional ethics while dealing with personal struggles. 

You’ll also read about the exhausting tasks nurses need to complete in an emergency room. Overall, the book successfully establishes that nurses are the underappreciated backbones of the healthcare system.

#2. Trending Lives: Nursing on The Medical Front

Takeaway: You’ll learn about the life-threatening consequences of a nurse’s actions and understand how to survive in the nursing field.

If you’re looking for humorous real-life stories, then Trending Lives by Echo Heron is the perfect book. Unlike the observational tone of Gutkind, this book takes you on a narrative tour through real-life medical dramas. 

Echo Heron, a critical care nurse, recounts the experiences of nurses when dealing with difficult situations. Each narrative is uniquely tragic, inspiring, and funny. For instance, you’ll get to read about how a nurse’s joke helped a stroke victim deal with depression. The book also tells the story of nurses who served in the Oklahoma City bombing

All these well-crafted stories could enlighten you and help you understand what lies ahead in your career. 

#3. Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between

Takeaway: You’ll experience a newfound appreciation for life and a strong need to succeed as a nurse. 

Do you want to read about the exciting and nerve-racking life of an oncology nurse? Then, Theresa Brown’s memoir, Critical Care, would be perfect. This book details the challenges and opportunities faced by first-year residents that every BSN student can relate to. 

Brown transitioned into becoming a nurse after working as an English professor. That’s why you’ll feel the true essence of commitment toward a meaningful career change while reading the book. 

This memoir details her daily life in the oncology ward. She highlights the memorable interactions and typical procedures she had to look after. While reading, you’ll find yourself questioning the relevance of politics in medical facilities. 

In summary, every nursing student should read at least one of these books to help foster their skills, strength, and empathy. Irrespective of the nursing specialty you’re pursuing, the books mentioned in this blog will help you learn more about this field. After reading them, you’ll understand the challenges you might face and ways to overcome them in a hospital setting.