5 perfect books for for nurses

Looking for a great book to take to the beach? Maybe just something to read while you sit on the front porch sipping your sweet tea? (Sorry – Georgia, here.  We sit on the porch with iced tea.) I’ve read a handful of books over recent years that spoke specifically to the nurse in me, and I’m always looking for things similar to them.  Here’s my list.

    1. Cutting for Stone

Oh my gosh, y’all.  The story centers around a nun, who is the surgeon’s nurse (hello, OR nurses?) at a mission in Addis Ababa.  It’s written by a physician who obviously respects the nurses he’s worked with.  Imagine, a story that sweeps across Ethiopia, with a forbidden but necessary love story, and all centered around the operating room.  It made me want to be an OR nurse.  It’s written in a way that I just couldn’t put down, and I’m eagerly awaiting every book Verghese writes now – he just has a way with words.

2. The Winter Soldier

Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes with this one, but it certainly delivered.  I’m a fan of historical fiction, and this is one of those rare, really good novels set around World War I in Eastern Europe.  Add to that, it’s about a medical student commissioned out of necessity as a doctor, who arrives at a field hospital and is trained in medicine by a skilled nurse, and you’ve got a winning combination.  Of course, there’s a love story to keep the pages turning – what summer reading wouldn’t? And as any novel with doctors and nurses that I would recommend, the nurses are used to their full capacity and given the respect they deserve.  This one checked off so many of my boxes – historical fiction with impeccable attention to setting, dramatic love story, and a nurse heroine with enough medical details to be plausible.

3. In Falling Snow: A Novel

This is another historical fiction tale, set in World War I, but this time it’s at a convent turned hospital in France.  You’ll fall in love with the nuns, the doctors, the nurses, and the gentlemen who stay nearby.  The brothers, the suitors, the patients.  If you thought your patient assignment was tough, take a look at how these nurses make it through the shift, in the midst of bombings and all the trappings of war.  You’ll be witness to nursing coming of age and learning to cope not just with their professional struggles, but with the struggles of serving during war.  Come alongside them as they fall in love, lose those they love, and grow personally and professionally.


Any psych nurses out there? Sadly, this story is not about nurses, but it’s one we can surely relate to and get emotionally invested in! In this tale, a child psychiatrist’s has been derailed by a patient tragedy.  Then she’s given the opportunity restore her career and her confidence by responding to a high-profile case involving a child in trauma.  Come alongside her as she restores her professional reputation and possibly learns to love all at the same time.

5. Midwives (Oprah’s Book Club)

Any OB nurses out there? In this story, a birth goes wrong – as any midwife or OB nurse has seen it go wrong.  A legal struggle ensues, pulling the midwife and her family into an unwanted spotlight.  But are there ulterior motives? Were the midwife’s actions really part of the cause of tragedy? This will keep you turning pages late at night.

DIY Yellow Ribbon Wreath!

We’re on week 1 of our very first deployment, and, well, we’re getting through it. Before hubbs left, I found an awesome tutorial to make a ribbon wreath, and then promptly lost it and was unable to find it again.  After about 2 weeks of trial and error, I figured how to get the look I wanted! So here it is, my yellow ribbon wreath! And I’ll tell you how.  Continue reading

This is why

There are days that are absolutely awful in the NICU.  Heart-wrenching days that make you want to crawl in a hole. But we celebrate the little moments, and that’s what redeems it all. Yesterday was one of those days.

I worked with Baby G. for two days in a row, parents were there all day loving on him. Continue reading

Overreact much?

Cute little patient in the NICU. Mom’s basically your typical first-time mom, wide-eyed, scared, excited all at once.  Dad is an MD who works in the hospital. In this hospital.  He knows what can go wrong. And therefore he tries to will all the bad away.  Day 6 in the NICU he asks for a mask because he has a tickle in his throat – doesn’t want to spread germs to his newborn.  We provide one, and remind him Continue reading

How is he?

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-1-50-42-pmI never realized how subjective that question really is. Recently I took care of a sweet boy with trisomy 13.  Mom called again and again, looking for updates that would give her some indication of what she can hope for.  He’s already made it past a month of life, defying the very few odds available as guidance.  Continue reading

2 citation tools you absolutely need

Grad school anyone? The papers, the discussion boards, the citations!!!

www.citefast.com – Input partial titles into search box, it returns formatted APA citations for what you need. Save or copy/paste. Free!

Zotero – browser plug-in, online availability, and desktop version.  Save pdfs, tag your findings, create notes, and best of all – it formats your in-text citations and references for your bibliography. With a Word plugin it features that beautiful cite-while-you-write feature.  Free! (If you need more than 20 MB storage you can upgrade to premium for a reasonable annual fee)


That interview question: “Tell me about yourself.”

Often interviews start off with this question, and your answer will set the tone for the interview.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of the easy answer – the basics.  I’ve been a nurse for xx years. I like to cook.  I graduated at the top of my class.  But that’s not what the interviewer wants.  They’re giving you an open floor to tell them why you’re the best candidate.  Continue reading

5 ways to be a great nurse

nursing-ecards-funniest1. Ask your co-workers if they need help. It’s easy to get caught up in your own assignment, and of course there will be days when all you can do is keep your head above water. But if you’re not drowning, check in with your coworkers. And when you ask them if they need anything, they’ll respect you for it. They’ll appreciate you. And they’ll be that much more likely to offer their own help when you need it.

Continue reading