10 Best Books About Nursing School

Best Books About Nursing School
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The process of becoming a nurse comes with its fair share of challenges, but it also brings about plenty of positive experiences.

Reading relatable books can help you survive nursing school and give you an idea of what the career of a nurse is like.

Check out these 10 books.

*Disclosure: This article on the best books about nursing school may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.

Best Books About Nursing School

1. Nursing School Thrive Guide

Nursing School Thrive Guide
  • Osuna, Maureen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 84 Pages - 08/25/2014 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Written by a critical care nurse, Nursing School Thrive Guide is the book you need to get through the first few months of nursing school and beyond.

It gives a thorough overview of what to expect in nursing school, and how to handle certain situations. It also features checklists and reference guides to help better prepare you for the tasks ahead.

Everything from how to study for exams to ways to take care of yourself are covered in a compassionate and inspiring way.

If you struggle with time management and other critical skills that nurses need, this book will help you with that.

“Nurse Mo”, as she’s affectionately called, also hosts a podcast and has a website that will further help you along as you progress through nursing school and start your career as a nurse.

See what others are saying about Nursing School Thrive Guide.

2. Nursing School Cheat Sheets: 50 Tips for Making the Grade

Nursing School Cheat Sheets: 50 Tips for Making the Grade
  • Gow, Donovan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 94 Pages - 03/03/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

If you want to quickly grasp some fundamental nursing concepts in a clear and concise manner, then Nursing School Cheat Sheets: 50 Tips for Making the Grade is perfect for you.

The cheat sheets cover several important topics that you will learn in nursing school, such as the Top 10 Most Prescribed Drugs in the U.S. and Adult Vital Signs.

The author, Donovan Gow, brings his years of experience working as a medical-surgical nurse, hospice nurse, and occupational health nurse to this book in a simple way, but with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

While this may not be useful to the experienced nurse, it is a very helpful resource for new nursing students and nursing students looking for a way to review some common nursing concepts throughout their time in school.

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3. Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You

Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You
  • Sonja M. Schwartzbach, BSN, RN, CCRN (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 166 Pages - 12/02/2020 (Publication Date)

Written in a funny and relatable way, Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You will have you laughing at times, crying at times, and feeling like someone finally gets what it’s really like to have one of the toughest jobs in the world.

The author is both an experienced nurse and a writer, so she is able to eloquently portray what she’s feeling in a way that really jumps off the page and grabs the reader’s attention.

Although much of the information is based off of the author’s personal experiences, it is still a good read for nursing students who may be uncertain about what to expect once they finally start their career.

See what others are saying about Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You.

4. How to Succeed in Nursing School

How to Succeed in Nursing School
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Thomas, Caroline Porter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

In How to Succeed in Nursing School, the author takes you through the process of nursing school from start to finish, including deciding which courses to take, how to stay focused during nursing school, and how to prepare for the NCLEX.

She also includes tips from nursing professors from around the United States on how they think you can best survive nursing school.

The author clearly knows what she’s talking about as she passed nursing school with honors and has over 135,000 subscribers on YouTube.

She real, practical advice and puts on a positive spin on it to help encourage you as you embark on the exciting, yet challenging, journey of nursing school.

This book is best for those still trying to decide on whether or not nursing school is for them, rather than those who have already started nursing school.

See what others are saying about How to Succeed in Nursing School.

5. The Ultimate Guide to Getting into Nursing School

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting into Nursing School
  • Chandler, Genevieve (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/26/2007 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (Publisher)

Those just starting out in the process of researching nursing schools will appreciate the common sense, no nonsense approach that this book takes.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting into Nursing School is just that- a guide to researching schools, applying for schools, and getting to the head of the class once you are in nursing school.

It does not give that much information on how to cope with nursing school once you’re in, and it only has one chapter dedicated to getting certified with the NCLEX and what to do after graduation.

There are some real-life accounts from nurses which gives further insight into how things go post-graduation.

There are also areas for self-reflection and to take notes, which is useful if you are still trying to decide if nursing school is the right path for you to take.

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6. How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: A Guide for Students by Students

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How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: A Guide for Students by Students
  • Dunham RN BSN, Kelli S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 11/30/2007 (Publication Date) - F.A. Davis Company (Publisher)

A comprehensive overview of what nursing school is all about is what you will find in How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: A Guide for Students by Students.

It covers everything that someone considering applying to, or someone who is just starting out in, nursing school should know.

Test-taking tips, how to handle different types of nursing professors, preparing for the NCLEX, and more are covered in this book.

At the end of each chapter, there is a summary of what was covered along with resources to help you find more information on a specific topic.

There are also personal aspects to the book, including how to manage your every day life alongside the intensive studying that comes along with nursing school. A great book for beginning nursing students.

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7. I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

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I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 04/09/2013 (Publication Date) - In Fact Books (Publisher)

It’s no question that nurses are some of the strongest people on the planet.

The nursing profession is not for the faint of heart, and I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse details some of the moments that have defined the careers of several nurses in the healthcare field.

Nurses from all phases of the career- including just starting out to ones that have been practicing for decades- contribute to this moving book.

Many of the stories are heavy as they show the real side of nursing. If you are looking for an uplifting book, there are moments where this book is, but overall it is more emotional and moving.

It may be more appropriate for graduating nurses versus those just starting nursing school.

See what others are saying about I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse.

8. Your First Year as a Nurse

Your First Year as a Nurse
  • Cardillo R.N., Donna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 11/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Currency (Publisher)

For those just graduating from nursing school, Your First Year as a Nurse is a must-read book.

It prepares you for everything from how to nail a job interview to coping with the stress of your first day on the job.

Nursing is one of the most challenging professions there is, so having a book that goes into such depth about what to expect during that first, critical year is very important for being successful.

Some of the advice listed in the book is mainly common sense, such as not gossiping with coworkers and showing up to work on time.

While these things seem like they shouldn’t need to be said, it is a good reminder to all on how to act professional at work and what the expectations are for a nurse’s behavior.

Definitely a must-read for any new nurse.

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9. Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not

Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not
  • Nightingale, Florence (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 06/01/1969 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

Written over 100 years ago by the pioneer of the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not covers the very fundamentals of being a nurse.

Basic hygiene is discussed in-depth, and the importance of it should not be overlooked, particularly now as infectious diseases are spreading quite rapidly.

Hand washing, proper air circulation, and a balanced diet can go a long way in preventing diseases, which is something Miss Nightingale placed an emphasis on.

This classic book is a good read for any nurse at any stage in their career. It shows how much nursing has changed, and how much it hasn’t, over the course of a century.

While some points may seem dated, the basic fundamentals of nursing have not changed since the book was written.

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10. Nursing Mnemonics 108 Memory Tricks to Demolish Nursing School

Nursing Mneumonics 108 Memory Tricks to Demolish Nursing School
  • Nursing Mnemonics 108 Memory Tricks to Demolish Nursing School
  • Haws, Jon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Memorization is one of the most important skills a nursing student needs to have, and Nursing Mneumonics 108 Memory Tricks to Demolish Nursing School makes memorizing key topics much easier.

There are over 170 mnemonics contained within the book that covers the knowledge needed to pass the NCLEX to become certified as a nurse.

The book also contains pictures to help you memorize things, but the pictures are in black and white and a little blurry.

This may lessen the impact that the pictures provide when it comes to easily memorizing a specific fact. The text is large and easy-to-read, which helps drive home the topic that’s being covered.

While many of the mnemonics listed in the book can be found online and in other texts, it’s nice to have everything readily available in one book to reference.

See what others are saying about Nursing Mneumonics 108 Memory Tricks to Demolish Nursing School.

Final Thoughts

Although nursing students have plenty of reading to do while they’re in school, many of these books are informative and fun to read in other ways.

They will help ease the uncertainty that often comes along with starting out in the nursing profession and help you become a better nurse.

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