25 Best Fictional Books on Nursing Ever Written

As we all know, “art imitates life.” There is a great body of fiction out there, focused on nursing and nurses. You can wrap yourself up in a mystery solved by a nurse, or a satire about what goes on in the nursing profession. It can be fun to read fiction based on nursing, since it is something you can relate to — you might even see something of yourself in the heroines and heroes that populate the pages.

No matter your age, educational level or salary, it is possible to enjoy a good book. If you are looking from some great reads, here are 25 fictional books on nursing:

  1. Shroud for a Nightingale: This book, by P.D. James, is a mystery about strange murders taking place at a nursing school. An interesting read for the mystery lover.
  2. Cherry Ames: Read these great books from a bygone era. Published between 1943 and 1968, you can follow the adventures of this nurse as she moves from job to job and solves mysteries.
  3. Echo Heron: Echo Heron is an author who writes a number of books about nursing and medicine. She writes non-fiction as well as fiction. Her fiction books are great reads for nurses that love medical thrillers.
  4. The Healer’s War: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough writes this fictional book based on her own experiences as a military nurse in Vietnam. It’s an interesting and lively book that rings true — even if it is fiction.
  5. Critical Care: An interesting book about the happenings in critical care by Richard Dooling. While it follows a young resident, there is plenty in here for nurses to relate to and enjoy.
  6. No Other Medicine: An interesting book about health care corruption. It’s a novel, but it rings true today when you look at the issues in health care. The book is written by Gail Ghigna Hallas, a Registered Nurse and Ph.D. A compelling read all the way through.
  7. Nursing a Grudge: This mystery by Chris Wells is about a grouchy old man who finds himself at a party — and someone ends up dead. The suspect might be in an assisted living facility. But what happens if it is shut down and the killer moves away?
  8. The Nursing Home Murder: Ngaio Marsi writes this interesting thriller and mystery about the murder of a member of Parliament when a visit to a hospital is made. There are a number of suspects — including a nurse — in this murder mystery. Who is the killer?
  9. Molly Eiderdown’s Journal: This fictional account of life in a nursing home is written from a patient perspective. An interesting look at what goes on in the mind of an old woman who finds herself in a nursing home. Great insight.
  10. Hospital of Bamboo: If your thing is romance, this book by Juliet Shore might do the trick. This is a Harlequin Romance, and offers you a little escape into an exotic locale to enjoy love and longing.
  11. Ruth Fielding: This series of books was written with the pen name Alice B. Emerson, but was authored by three different people. Plucky and brave, a girl named Ruth Fielding has a number of adventures in a variety of careers. She spent some time as a nurse during the war, though, and these can be interesting and nostalgic novels.
  12. The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You: This is a great humor book. A look at how to self-diagnose for the hypochondriac in all of us. If you have a sly and irreverent sense of humor, this is the book for you. The Devil’s Dictionary for nurses and other health care professionals.
  13. Sue Barton: This series of books by Helen Dore Boylston follows the spunky, red-haired Sue Barton as she learns to be a nurse and has a successful career and family. This series can be a breezy read for someone looking to enjoy a little bit of escapism into the world we saw from 1936 to 1952. Sue Barton has ups and downs, and uses her skills to help others, as well asserts independence.
  14. Undercover Nurse: A definite guilty pleasure, this book by Jane Converse is about a narcotics rehab nurse who finds herself increasingly involved in a web of trafficking and corruption. Will Gail Arnold be dragged down with her patient?
  15. Standard Care: Written from a doctor’s perspective, this serious novel nevertheless has plenty of relevance for nurses. It’s all about the health care crisis we have in America, delving into ethics and cut-throat policies at a for-profit hospital.
  16. Star Wreck V: The Undiscovered Nursing Home: If you like sci-fi parody, this might be the book for you. Leah Rewolinski and Harry Trumbore put together the story of the U.S.S. Endocrine as it looks for the nursing home of legend. Funny.
  17. Lions and Tigers and Nurses: This novella by Amy Glenn Vega addresses some of the realities of the nursing profession. It’s a story of peer to peer conflict in amongst nurses in a health care setting.
  18. Beyond All Price: If you like historical fiction, this novel by Carolyn Schriber is a great choice. She bases her story on the life of Nellie M. Chase, a Union nurse in the Civil War. A moving novel that will have you cheering for the heroine’s bravery and compassion.
  19. The Orange Tree: A heartwarming book by Martin Ganzglass that features the friendship between an older Jewish woman and her nurse, a Somali woman. It’s a book about seeing beyond cultural differences and to the heart.
  20. Tom’s Year at the Nursing Home: After falling, Tom is placed in a nursing home. This book by Theresa Edmund is about overcoming despair.
  21. Poor Mrs. Rigsby: After being left by her husband, Sally Cox becomes a CNA and gets a job at a rest home. She finds out a secret about Mrs. Rigsby, who has a great deal of money. When Mrs. Rigsby dies, Sally has a choice. This book by Kathy Herman turns into a mystery.
  22. American Nurses in Fiction: An Anthology: Great collection of short stories about nurses in fiction.
  23. Winged Victory for Nurse Kerry: Another classic romance novel involving a nurse.
  24. Daughters of War: The first book in Hilary Green’s Leonora Trilogy has this high spirited socialite helping care for soldiers just before WWI.
  25. Burden of Memory: In this mystery by Vicki Delany, Elaine Benson finds herself in the middle of murder mystery involving her efforts to help a Canadian nurse with her memoirs of her time serving in WWII.
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