“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
— Charles William Elliot
The new graduate nurse cannot get enough friends, counselors or teachers. These five reads make a great addition to a beginner nurse’s library. They’ll inspire, reassure and prepare the new nurse for the exciting and nerve-wracking year ahead, with all its twists and turns.
In this valuable resource by Lorie Brown, novice nurses can take away essential knowledge that may help protect his or her license from detriment due to mistakes and wrongdoings they might not even realize exist. Brown draws from her two decades of experience as a nurse lawyer, having represented more than 300 nurses before the licensing board over the past 20 years. This information, Brown says, isn’t taught in nursing school or on the job. “Unfortunately, many nurses I’ve worked with didn’t even know they were doing anything wrong,” Brown says. “But lack of awareness is not a defense, and the best way to protect yourself is to be informed.”
2. “Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying” by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
No amount of nursing school or orientation can prepare a new nurse for what to do or say when a person is dying. “Final Gifts,” written by two hospice nurses, is an insightful look at how death affects the dying and their loved ones and ways in which healing can occur.
“By keeping open minds and by listening carefully to dying people, we can begin to understand messages they convey through symbol or suggestion. Often, we can decipher essential information and in the deciphering relieve a dying person’s anxiety and distress. By trying to understand, and therefore participate more fully in the events of dying, families and friends can gain comfort, as well as important knowledge about what the experience of dying is like and what is needed to achieve a peaceful death. They can carry that new knowledge forward, finding continuing solace in it after the death of the person they loved, and as they face future deaths including their own.”
3. “Do No Harm Applies To Nurses Too!” by Renee Thompson
Dealing with nurse to nurse bullying can knock even the most senior nurse off balance, but for new graduate nurses, it can make or break that first year. Renee Thompson’s “Do No Harm Applies To Nurses Too!” offers helpful and practical techniques that will empower the novice nurse to rise above social difficulties they might encounter in the workplace.
“As you begin this chapter, be clear about one thing: if you are a victim of a bully, it’s NOT your fault! Make no mistake about it. The fault lies with the bully, not you. As you read the profiles of the targets who are attractive to bullies, you may recognize some of the characteristics or behaviors in yourself. You may even feel a sense of self-blame. If you do, please remember that we all may exhibit these behaviors from time to time, and they do not justify the destructive behaviors of the bully.”
4. “Critical Care Nurse“ by Theresa Brown
Every new nurse needs to know that the fears and challenges he or she faces is not a singular experience. Theresa Brown’s “Critical Care Nurse” validates the new nurse’s experience by putting into words what may render even the most verbose individual completely silent. This book will help the new grad sleep at night, hearing Theresa Brown’s voice say, “Yes, it’s hard. And yes, it’s worth it.”
“The skill set you need as a nurse will stretch from hands — literally used to hold someone in place — to heart — the patience to listen for the question behind the question, the courage to give an honest answer. It’s called nursing practice because it can make physical, mental, and emotional demands that no one feels prepared for when they first come onto their floor. The beginner has its share of –oh-my-God moments, as in “Oh my God, his back split open,” and quite a few “What do I say now?” moments as well. Each patient comes to us as a blank canvas or a solid block of stone, and at first we will make only the simplest of brushstrokes, the most obvious chisels.”
5. “Leading Valiantly in Healthcare: Four Steps to Sustainable Success” by Catherine Robinson-Walker
New graduate nurses might not feel like it yet, or even know it, but nurses are inherently leaders. Thinking of the self as a leader can help shape the way a new nurse approaches his or her formative years and beyond. “Leading Valiantly in Healthcare” is a top grade course in how to stand up as a leader in healthcare. A great gift for the future nursing leaders of the world.
“Leadership Valor is first and foremost a way of experiencing yourself: of being brave enough to show up amid uncertainty; aware enough to make conscious, often difficult choices; and deliberate enough to face what is not working and address it so you can be more effective.”
What books would you recommend for a new nurse?