How to Become a Nursing Textbook Author


Today, I realized that one of my former nursing instructors has co-authored a pharmacology nursing textbook. I was curious as to how one gets into that type of thing? Writing is one off my strengths and I actually think I would enjoy putting together a textbook. I have no idea how one goes about that though.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

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Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Teaching experiences & credentials often at the doctoral level. Must meet criteria as a subject matter expert (so if you work in pediatric clinic you would not be qualified to author a text about advanced trauma nursing) My sister is published for graduate and post graduate research and has a text chapter pending publication as part of her doctoral level education. Has APN, MSN, PhD©, credentials in her specialty area, 15 years as an educator & clinical supervisor in a BSN program, credentied as a nurse educator, dept of education credentials to teach collegiate/university level, over 20 years experience all in her specialty area between staff/BSN, charge, supervisor/director, instructor, assistant professor and now professor). She even is qualified to write and review NCLEX questions for RN & LPN in her area of specialty.

(Nope she shares NOTHING about the NCLEX and she's been a nurse longer than me. Damn ethics!)

I must add it was a little weird when doing a research project for school and then citing your own sister's published research as a source.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

JustBeachy covered the basics.

Generally, one person doesn't write an entire textbook, rather it is a collaborative effort among multiple SMEs. I was recruited by one of my DNP program's faculty to write a textbook chapter in my area of clinical expertise. It's currently in production and should be ready for Fall, 2017 semester purchase.

A really good way to get a foot in the door is to write journal articles (an entirely different type of publishing but gets your name out there faster and to a wider audience). From there, becoming a peer-reviewer for those journals is a logical next step.

But the most crucial thing is to become an expert in some aspect of nursing and pursue credentials that demonstrate that expertise. Being a good writer is only half of the equation. You must have something to write knowledgeably about.