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.
Oh my gosh, y’all. The story centers around a nun, who happens to be 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.
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.
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 career 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.
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.