Five Must-Read Books for Travel Nurses

Most people look to books as a form of escape from their challenging work and home lives. So for a travel nurse, a book about infectious diseases or bedpans might not seem like the obvious choice for that perfect airplane or train read. But nurses also have to stay up to date and informed, and sometimes a really good medical book can make you more excited to go to work in the morning. Here are five books that every travel nurse should read. 

The Nurse’s Story by Carol Gino

Carol Gino has done, and seen, it all. In her career as a nurse she’s worked in the Emergency Room, Intensive Care, the Burn Unit, Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, and Hospice Care for the terminally ill. And her 1997 novel on the trials of life as a nurse was an instant classic. Particularly if you’re new to nursing, Gino’s book is a window into what is to come, whether it is leaving work after a patient has died for the first time, and wondering how to shed that feeling of loss coming home to your family, or making difficult decisions on how to treat a patient’s unbearable pain. Gino’s book is a lesson in empathy and also explores ethical questions that undoubtedly every nurse will encounter in their lifetime. But it also shines light on the joy and the love found in the job. What it means to bring a new life into the world, or to hold a person’s hand as their journey ends. 

Gino’s book is both gutting and hopeful. It would be a great book to gift to friends and loved ones who want to know more about what your job entails. Gino also offers a sigh of relief for nurses who have been working for a long time, as she addresses compassion fatigue and how to deal with burnout. 

You can order her book on Amazon for $14.95 here.

Hitting the Road: A Travel Guide to Nursing by Shalon Kearney

Shalon Kearney is a travel nursing veteran. And in her 2002 book, she offers a short and no-nonsense guide to “hitting the road” as a travel nurse. She has complete listings for 70 health care staffing agencies, she offers tax and financial advice, tips on planning international travel, and also offers ways to self-assess, providing useful check-ins for how to track your improvement as a nurse even as you’re on the move. This all-inclusive guide is a breezy read, and can be a life-saver for nurses just starting in the industry. Kearney takes some of the seemingly-impossible parts of the job and breaks them into easy and understandable steps.

Buy it on Kindle Books for $9.95 here. 

One Nurse At A Time: On A Mission: A Personal Journey into the Heart of Humanitarian Nursing by Sue Averill and Elizabeth Coulter

For a less clinical and more uplifting and breezy read on travel nursing, Averill and Coulter’s book full of stories is wholly satisfying. Their 2017 book captures the adventurous and exciting spirit of travel nursing. Whether it’s taking place in an African riverboat or just a particularly goofy day in the emergency room, this book will remind you why your job, despite all it’s challenges, is fun. And more importantly, following these nurses on their humanitarian journey to change the world will remind you why your job is meaningful. Averill and Coulter are women to aspire to, and they’re also a barrel of laughs. 

This book is actually free on Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy it for $12.99 in paperback here.

When Nurses Hurt Other Nurses: Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming the Cycle of Nurse Bullying by Cheryl Dellasega, Sigma Theta Tau International Staff

Anyone who has spent time in this industry knows that it can sometimes be toxic. Nurses often go underpaid, and hospitals and clinics that are understaffed create a tense environment for employees who have to juggle responsibilities that should have been divided by a much larger staff. Younger nurses can face brutal treatment from managing nurses who have already weathered the storm of a nursing career. And this can be even more true for travel nurses, who are often new to a well-oiled machine. When you’re in a tough situation at work, it’s easy to think you’re the only one. It’s also easy to think it’s completely your fault. That’s why this book, published in 2011, was groundbreaking. 

It explains the history of nurse bullying and examines why this toxic behavior occurs and looks at ways to prevent it. It includes workshops and tipsheets inside to help nurses in real time deal with difficult situations that arise. 

One nurse on GoodReads said, “As someone who has been bullied, this was an important book for me to read. It helped me work through some of my feelings, and my anger. I am thinking of having it sent to my former supervisor and/or the COO who also played a part in the entire bullying experience.

It is nice to know that in some places around the world, bullying is recognized in the nursing profession and steps are being taken to stop the cycle.” 

Buy it at Barnes & Noble for $25.34 here. 

Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019 by Epstein Larue

This is the bread and butter. The 300-page guide that leaves no stone unturned in pursuing travel nursing. Epstein Larue, a Cirrus Medical Staffing traveler, has been updating her helpful guide to how to find jobs as a travel nurse, how to balance expenses, and more, for over a decade. So you can trust that her most recent addition put out last year has literally everything you could ever want to know about being a travel nurse. She’ll guide you through finding that perfect travel assignment, negotiating contracts, and even getting the proper vaccinations and health checks. This is a must-read if you’re looking to branch out into travel nursing. 

You can buy the most recent edition on Kindle for $9.99 here.

BONUS: Travel Nurse Coloring Book

Who doesn’t love a good coloring book? Destress while also recording some of your sweetest moments with patients with this whimsical coloring book made specifically for travel nurses. 

Plus it’s only $8.95 on Amazon Prime.

Want to explore more about travel nursing opportunities? 

Stability Healthcare is an industry leader in travel nursing. Check out our Travel nursing jobs page for dozens of listings for high-paying gigs all across the United States. If you still have questions, contact our representatives. They are always available to help you start a fascinating career in the travel nursing field. 

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