7 Books Travel Nurses Need To Read in 2023

Written by Health Providers Choice on Thursday, April 13, 2023 Posted in Education & Career Advancement


Reading is something nurses are accustomed to doing every day. From patient charts to clinical journals and beyond, your eyes are constantly processing words on the page (or screen). So when you get home after a long, stressful shift, the last thing you probably want to do is pick up a book and read more. But what you might not realize is, reading for pleasure is one of the best things you can do for yourself — especially as a nurse.

The benefits of reading for travel nurses

While reading can benefit anyone, this downtime activity is crucial for helping travel nurses preserve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Researchers have discovered a link between reading for fun and reduced instances of chronic stress. Reading can also boost concentration and sleep quality — two benefits to help nurses perform better at work.

Books are an important part of travel nurses’ continuing education as well. But reading doesn’t have to be purely educational. And it doesn’t have to be nonfiction, either. One study found creative bibliotherapy — a form of therapy involving reading fictional texts — has the potential to improve social behaviors and problem-solving skills.

Books deserving a spot on your reading list

While many great options are available, these highly recommended books were written by and for nurses. Here’s a short list of some good reads to fill your spare time:

  1. Cooked: An Inner City Nursing Memoir: In this memoir, Carol Karels recounts the challenges of being a young nurse at a time when unregulated drug use was rampant in the healthcare world. It’s an inspiring story to teach travel nurses how to persevere in the face of stressful situations.
  2. Every Patient Tells a Story: Written by Lisa Sanders, this book is a collection of stories told from patients’ perspectives. These stories show nurses there’s always something new to learn, and the obvious diagnosis isn’t always the right one.
  3. Inspired Nurse: Rich Bluni, a registered nurse, sheds light on how burnout frequently suppresses a nurse’s passion for helping others. Reading this book can help travel nurses regain their enthusiasm and remember why they pursued nursing in the first place.
  4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Rebecca Skloot’s novel follows the real-life story of a woman whose cells were used for research without her knowledge or consent. It’s a critical conversation about the place of ethics in the medical world.
  5. The Language of Kindness: Christie Watson uses personal stories to illustrate the importance of compassion in treating patients. Readers will learn how to build trust with patients and influence their emotional well-being for the better.
  6. Too Busy for Your Own Good: This is a cautionary tale of what can happen when nurses are overcome with stress and long shifts. Connie Merritt uses her experiences to guide nurses toward a more balanced lifestyle.
  7. When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Cheryl Dellasega addresses the ubiquitous culture of bullying among nurses and ways they can work together to create a more supportive work environment.

Apply new knowledge to your nursing career

Knowledge is useful only when it’s applied to the real world. See what you can take away from these books and how this knowledge can help you overcome work-related struggles. You can learn anything from books, even if they’re not about nursing.

There’s something to be said about reading purely for fun, too. If it brings you joy, then give it a read. Happy reading!

Looking for other ways to improve yourself personally and professionally? Health Providers Choice always supports the growth of our associates. If you need information about continuing education or other learning resources, contact us online or call us today at 888-299-9800. We’re committed to helping you make the most of your career in travel nursing.

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About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.