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Books about nurses

Two new books feature nurses as the main characters. The protagonist of Dreadnought, by Cherie Priest, is a Civil War nurse living an alternative historical setting; My Hero, My Dad the Nurse Knocked Out Cancer, by Dr. Maggie Thurmond Dorsey, is a children’s book told through the eyes of a nurse’s son. The books couldn’t be more different: Dreadnought is best described as historical fantasy fiction, while My Hero, My Dad the Nurse Knocked Out Cancer is the third book of a series designed to introduce boys and minorities to the nursing profession.

Dreadnought is the third novel in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series. The setting – an alternate 1880s America — is the same, but the characters are different. At its heart, Dreadnought is the story of Confederate nurse Mercy Lynch, whose husband has recently died. She embarks on a cross-country journey that causes her to reflect on race relations — and leads her into confrontations with zombies. Although the book is 100% fiction, Nurse Mercy sounds a lot like nurses today. The Seattle Times describes her as,  “a swearing, sweating, pistol-packing ex-farm girl who swabs away her patients’ blood with barely a flinch. [Nurse Mercy] forms real attachments to the wounded in her care but is flatly practical about any given man’s chances for survival.”

My Hero, My Dad the Nurse Knocked Out Cancer is a much more realistic look at nursing. The third book in the My Hero, My Dad the Nurse series, the book, like the others, features an African-American male nurse. Nursing represented in an accurate, matter-of-fact way that breaks down stereotypes. The father is a nurse; he’s also a nurse who used to play football. The books, which were written by a professor of nursing, are aimed at early middle school-aged children. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the books goes to fund nursing scholarships to minority groups, including men.

Both books are available on

What other books feature nurses as main characters?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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