Best Nursing Book Reviews 2023

Have you ever wondered what our hospitals or healthcare system would be without nurses? (Thank God for them!) Do you have any nurses in your circle and wish to help equip them with more materials? Are you a student nurse looking for research and review materials? Or a nurse who wants to update his/her library? There are a thousand-and-one nursing books that cover myriads of subjects. So how do you go about choosing the appropriate material? We’ve carried out extensive research on the subject and have come up with a review of five authors and one book from each to help you narrow down your search.
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Our Top Choice
Lippincott Nursing 2018 Drug Handbook
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) publishes expert information on health and medicine. It provides updated information of current developments in the medical world.
Current information from the National Cancer Institute. A section for new drugs. A photo guide of thirty-two pages. A new appendix section. Details of vital nursing facts.
The e-book is difficult to use for some.
Drug handbook
1800 pages
38th Edition
Nurse practitioners
Best Value
Ehren Myers Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide
Ehren Myers, a registered nurse, uses personal successes and pitfalls of hands-on experience to produce resources that contribute to the success of nursing practitioners.
Pocket-sized. Waterproof and durable pages. Contains tips for NCLEX- PN exams. Simple to read.
Some bits of information need to be updated.
Pocket guide
192 pages
4th Edition
Nurse practitioners
Betty J. Ackley Nursing Diagnosis Handbook
Betty J. Ackley was a veteran nurse and Professor Emeritus. Her books aren’t just documentations of research results, but useful and practical information.
Index that has three columns and is easy to use. A list of Nursing Diagnosis in the back cover. Two sections on nursing procedures and diagnosis. Extensive info.
Needs more than common sense to understand it.
. Guide book
1061 pages
11th Edition
Physician assistant
Maureen A. Knechtel EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner
Maureen A. Knechtel is a veteran physician assistant. Her books provide in-depth training for EKG interpretation and quick reference for physician assistants and nurses.
Many clinical events are used as examples. Key concepts are explained in clear terms. Review questions at the end of each chapter. Additional PowerPoint presentation.
Contains a lot of technical info.
EKG Training
320 pages
2nd Edition
Donovan Gow Nursing School Cheat Sheets
Donovan Gow enables nursing students to cope with the rigors of nursing school and even thrive in it, through stress-free materials.
Handy and portable. Easy to read and understand. Well-organized charts and mnemonics. Easy-to-follow guidelines. Great for passing exams.
It’s a beginner-level book.
Cheat sheets
94 pages
1st Edition
Nurse practitioners

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Watch Our Nursing Book Review

What is the Best Nursing Book?

Nursing is too extensive a field of endeavor for anyone to say that a particular nursing book is the best available. There are many nursing books and each appeals to, or is appropriate for, a particular specialization or field. It’s the user/reader who determines what’s best for him/her. If you get a book with the right features, then you’ve gotten the best nursing book for you. So, pay attention to the features discussed so that you’ll recognize them when you go shopping.
Our Top Choice
The Lippincott Nursing 2018 Drug Handbook (Nursing Drug Handbook) simplifies information about drugs, administration, indications, contraindications, and everything in between. It provides a quick and handy reference. If you’re looking for materials to help you prepare for certification examination, we recommend Lippincott's Review for Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification.

Lippincott Nursing 2018 Drug Handbook (Nursing Drug Handbook) - Available in 2 Formats

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), one of the leading global publishers of expert information on health for all cadres and levels of medical practitioners, was founded in 1792. It provides this information in electronic and print media to make it accessible to people in whatever means is convenient for them. It has gone through transitions and mergers through the generations, and this has only made it more experienced and better-equipped to deliver its products. These resources equip medical practitioners in the day-to-day practice of their profession. It keeps churning out updated information that keeps readers abreast of current issues and development in the medical world.

The Lippincott Nursing 2018 Drug Handbook is loaded with information about drugs, administration, indications, and contraindications, with everything in between. Nursing, as we all know, is an essential service that the medical world can’t do without and the responsibilities of a nurse are many. Wrong usage and administration of drugs can lead to serious complications or even death, and no nurse wants to be caught in such a situation. This book simplifies drug information and helps nurses have a quick reference at their fingertips. This wonderful book is loaded with useful information that’s practical for everyday nursing practices; it also has other great features that include the following:
  • Totally Revised - This contains over 4000 scientific changes to almost 3500 brands, combinations, and generic drugs. This helps the user to be abreast with current changes in drugs and how they affect the dosage and administration.
  • A Section for New Drugs - This introduces almost 29 generic drugs that have been approved by the FDA and its branded equivalent.
  • Current Information from the National Cancer Institute - This section teaches the "Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events" system of classification, helping the user to be abreast of recent breakthroughs and other useful information in the treatment and care of cancer patients.
  • A New Appendices Section - This section is loaded with myriads of information on drugs; almost everything you need to know about drugs, dosage, usage, administration, everything!
  • Sections that Teach Vital Details - This keeps the essentials handy for the user to always refer to and be kept in remembrance of these facts, until it becomes a subconscious knowledge that can be called up at any point.
  • A Photo Guide - This is for 32 pages with more than 450 of the capsules and tablets that are most regularly prescribed. This provides a quick pictorial guide which makes for fast and easy comprehension.
  • Free Access to Updates on Drugs Every Month - This would help you be abreast of current developments concerning drugs.
  • Online Toolkit - This has hundreds of beneficial resources and tools so you have extra resources at your disposal at no extra cost. You can also be sure that they are current resources.
Best Value
The Ehren Myers RN LPN Notes: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide is a popular, simple-to-read guide. It provides necessary practical and clinical details for effective and safe health and medical care in any setting. If you’re a registered nurse and need a pocket guide, we recommend the RNotes®: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide 4th Edition.

Ehren Myers RN LPN Notes: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide – Available in 2 Formats

Ehren Myers, a registered nurse with long years of experience, puts pen to paper to document this experience in the form of information for both student and practicing nurses. These books are well-researched and written in such a way that they simplify information that would otherwise be complicated and difficult to understand. It takes one with hands-on nursing experience to be able to develop materials that will help upcoming nursing practitioners. That’s the advantage that these books have; the insight of hands-on experience and hindsight (as is often said: “hindsight is 20/20”). The successes and pitfalls of a career culminate in resources that will contribute to the success of generations to come. You can’t go wrong with any of these resources.

The Ehren Myers Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide is a popular guide that’s simple to read and understand. It provides the practical and clinical details that are needed to provide effective and safe health and medical care, whether at home or in the hospital.

This is a book that’s important for every LPN, whether during training or after. You’ll need it every day and it’s sure to boost your confidence because of the myriads of information that you’ll have at your fingertips. It has many more great features, which include the following:
  • It’s Pocket-Sized – This allows it to fit perfectly in the pocket of your scrubs and keeps it handy for quick reference.
  • Pages that are Waterproof – This enables you to carry it on you through every task—class or clinical—without the fear of damage from moisture or heat. This also makes the book durable.
  • Tips for NCLEX - This provides easy-to-remember facts that help you prepare for the NCLEX -PN exam.
  • Well-Edited - This ensures that you’re exposed to predominantly used and common clinical facts that both students and nurses need.
The Betty J. Ackley Nursing Diagnosis Handbook - E-Book: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care is convenient and easy to use. It focuses on nursing diagnosis and drawing up plans for patient care. We recommend the Evidence-Based Nursing Care Guidelines: Medical-Surgical Interventions as well. This is another important asset for nursing practitioners.

Betty J. Ackley Nursing Diagnosis Handbook - E-Book: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care – Available in 2 Formats

Betty J. Ackley was a veteran nurse and Professor Emeritus, Jackson Community College. Though deceased, her work lives on in the many books that she had written. She is best remembered for her expertise on nursing diagnosis, outcomes, and interventions. Her books are a combination of years of hands-on experience and research. They’re great assets to nursing students and practitioners, and those who have used them attest to this fact. These books aren’t just documentations of research results or a bunch of technical jargons, but useful and practical information. They show you exactly what to do and how to do it.

Betty J. Ackley’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook helps both practicing and student nurses choose the right nursing diagnosis and draw up plans for patient care easily and with confidence. It’s a convenient and easy-to-use handbook that shows how to use all the clients’ or patients’ data based on findings of assessments and other established diagnosis in correlation with the nursing diagnosis and present plan of treatment. It has many more wonderful features that include the following:
  • Three-column Index - This is easy to use and can be used by either students or practicing nurses.
  • A list of Nursing Diagnosis - This is located on the back cover and allows you to quickly look for reference without having to flip through the book.
  • Alphabetical Thumb Tabs - These are for nursing diagnosis and specific symptoms to give you fast access to information needed, and can be quite useful in case of emergency.
  • Two Sections on Nursing Procedures and Diagnosis - This is an easy guide that helps you through the selection of the right nursing diagnosis and nursing processes.
  • Extensive, Current Information on every 2015-2017 NANDA-I Nursing Diagnosis - This enables you to be abreast of current development in this area.
  • Comes with Care Plan Builder on Evolve Website - This offers you the platform to practice and create personalized care plans.
The Maureen A. Knechtel EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant has an orderly, physiologic style that teaches readers the steps to follow in evaluating individual EKGs. If you want a comprehensive library, you might want to get the EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant 1st Edition.

Maureen A. Knechtel EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant – Available in 2 Formats

Maureen A. Knechtel is a veteran physician assistant whose specialty is general cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. She has several academic qualifications in the medical field and a number of achievements and accomplishments. Her books reflect this wealth of knowledge and experience. Knowing the life and death consequences of wrong interpretation of EKG readings, she endeavors to present information in a clear and concise manner that helps students understand EKG interpretation without memorization. Practicing physician assistants and nurses also benefit from these books as they provide quick references.

The Maureen A. Knechtel EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner has an orderly, physiologic style that teaches readers the steps to follow in evaluating individual EKGs. It expedites a real and clear understanding of how to interpret EKGs, so that there’s no need to memorize any information or facts. This is a rich resource that provides what nurses and physician assistants need for providing quality and expert care to patients. This practical book also has some more features that include the following:
  • Many Clinical Events Used as Examples - This helps present actual applications of how EKGs are interpreted, which gives the reader a clear picture of what’s being portrayed.
  • Key Concepts Explained in Clear Terms - The lack of ambiguities makes the concepts easy to grasp and retain.
  • Many Tables & Figures and 200+ EKG Tracings - This practically covers a wide range of scenarios that prepare nursing practitioners and physician assistants for real-life situations.
  • Review Questions at the End of Each Chapter - This helps the student to sum up all that has been learned in the chapter.
  • Additional PowerPoint Presentation - This demonstrates cases that include EKGs and some teaching tips for tutors, which makes it useful not only for the student, but also instructors.
  • Presents More Intricate Clinical Cases - This further challenges students and enhances their ability to interpret EKGs.
The Donovan Gow Nursing School Cheat Sheets: 50 Tips for Making the Grade simplifies nursing school and makes it easier to pass exams and ace the NCLEX©, through quick reference. If you want another option of nursing reference material, we recommend the ScrubCheats 50 Nursing Reference Cards.

Donovan Gow Nursing School Cheat Sheets: 50 Tips for Making the Grade – Available in 2 Formats

Donovan Gow is an RN who has years of experience in medical-surgical nursing, occupational health and hospice. He established Nursing Tree to enable nursing students to cope with the rigors of nursing school and even thrive in it. His books are also part of this endeavor; they are simple, straightforward, of top quality, and offer some humor to lighten things up. He has had varied experiences in different fields from the Army to Wall Street, to Massage Therapy. All these helped to shape the thoughts and insights that help him write the way he does, and his ability to help readers get a grasp of difficult concepts without much stress.

The Donovan Gow Nursing School Cheat Sheets help simplify nursing school and make it easier to pass exams and ace the NCLEX©. It’s a useful study guide that helps you make quick reference to different subjects and topics. It also covers basic things a nurse must know, along with a general knowledge of nursing procedures. This great cheat sheet has other wonderful features that include the following:
  • Handy and Portable – Fits in scrub pockets and can easily be carried around for quick reference.
  • Easy-to-Read and Understand – In situations of emergency, you’re able to quickly sort through and get the right information you need.
  • Has Well-Organized Charts and Mnemonics - This makes it a good tool for studying and refreshing one's memory.
  • Easy to Follow Guidelines – This gives you many descriptions that clearly show you what to do in similar situations.

How Do I Choose the Best Nursing Book?

When we hear the words nurse or nursing, the first thing that comes to mind is a matronly woman in a starched white gown with a stethoscope around her neck. She’s usually one of the first people you meet when you go for your doctor’s appointment; she takes your blood pressure, and checks your weight and temperature. But that’s all myth. Nursing is a profession that encompasses old and young, male and female, in all aspects of health and the medical field.

Nurses are the ones that have most personal daily contact with patients. You don’t want to be attended to by a cranky or ill-natured nurse; trust us, you may not recover fast. Some of us may have encountered nurses who made our hospital visit or stay less traumatic and frightening while, at other times, we’ve encountered nurses who made us develop a phobia for hospitals.

These professionals, who are a pillar in our healthcare system, must of necessity be properly trained and constantly abreast of the dynamics of their trade. There are horror stories of nurses who misplaced blood test results, urine analyses, or misinterpreted EKG readings or some other mix-ups of hospital records. No nurse worth his/her salt would want to be caught in such a situation.

That’s why nursing books are indispensable tools in your arsenal as a nurse. You can’t stop reading just because you’ve graduated from nursing school or have passed your certification exams. Professionals who value human lives continue to improve and learn so that they can provide safe and quality care for their patients.
The prices of nursing books vary as much as the subjects. Different books cover different subjects and in varying degrees of intensity, so you can’t expect them all to be in the same price range. A good nursing book should cost between $9 and $70.

During our research, we saw some cheap nursing books, but they’re not featured in this review because they don’t really have the requisite features and aren’t really worth anyone’s time and money. All the authors and products featured are guaranteed to give you good value for your money; have no fear of making a choice from them.
Nursing covers almost every area of human life, and as such requires vast knowledge and training to carry it out. There are many books that are advertised as nursing books, but there are some features that these books must have. Before buying a nursing book, check out that it has the right features. Some of these features are listed below:
  • Type of Book – Is it paperback, Kindle, or hard cover?
  • Content – What is the focus of the book? What areas does it cover?
  • Pages - How many pages does it have?
  • Edition – What edition is it? Is it recently updated?
  • Audience – Who is it meant for?
  • Portability and Ease of Use - Is it in card or sheet form? Or a pocket book that can be carried around?
  • Ease of comprehension – Is it easily understood?
As we go further, we understand how all these features will affect the value you get from the choice of nursing book that you make.
Construction and Design
Nursing books come in paperback, hardback, e-book, or Kindle formats. If you’re a tech-savvy person who doesn’t like to turn pages, you would do well with versions that are electronic. One advantage of e-books is that you can quickly link to sites from where you are. For people who aren’t tech-savvy, paperback or hardcover is your best option. It’s not worth anything having material that you can’t use easily. Sticking to your paperback or hardcover means no stress while trying to navigate pages or links. A hard copy is easily accessed whenever you need it, but a soft copy is dependent on many factors.

Before you buy a nursing book, ensure that what you’re buying is relevant to your field of study or specialization. There are many nursing books, and each is specific to one area or the other. There are books that deal with drugs, administration, indication, and contraindications. There are others that deal with care plans, and still others with EKG interpretations. Others still are study guides and cheat sheets.

All the books available clearly state what they focus on, so it doesn’t make economic sense for you to just pick a book because its title has to do with nursing. Check out the specifics and know whether it’s relevant to you at that point in time. Truth is, you wouldn’t even have time to read every available nursing book, so why buy irrelevant ones?

Some books are bulky, but sadly have irrelevant information or content; others are concise and have just the exact information needed. Some others may be bulky, but actually have comprehensive and relevant information. So, you can’t really judge the relevance of the book by the number of pages it has, but by what those pages have to offer.
Performance and Ease of Use
Ensure that the book you’re buying is not obsolete. Read reviews, and scan through as much as possible to know the contents. We all know that the medical field is fluid (always changing) with many developments and breakthroughs occurring almost on a daily basis. So also are the materials and books. You can’t be careless about the edition of the book you buy, as this affects the relevance of the information you get.

Nursing books are usually filled with technical terms and medical jargons. For student nurses, this might be a big issue. It is, therefore, safer to buy books that are simplified and present facts and information in easy-to-read and understand terms and styles. If you’re buying a nursing book as a gift for someone, read the reviews of those who have read and used the book to find out what they say about the content and the ease of comprehension.

There are nursing books that are quite handy and portable. They can be carried in scrub pockets and easily accessed during clinicals or emergency situations. Student nurses would benefit a lot from those types of books, especially when preparing for exams or certifications.

Get the Best Nursing Book of 2023!

Great to know that you read this review to the end. We’re confident that you have the necessary information now to make the right choice. Please, go ahead and pick any of the authors featured because they are guaranteed to give you the value you desire. These authors have other books in this category and you may come across them as you read on. We encourage you to check them out; they may just be what you’ve been looking for.

Our Top Choice
Lippincott Nursing 2018 Drug Handbook
Best Value
Ehren Myers Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide
Betty J. Ackley Nursing Diagnosis Handbook
Maureen A. Knechtel EKGs for the Nurse Practitioner
Donovan Gow Nursing School Cheat Sheets