7 Handy NP Reference Books for Clinical Practice

Stethoscope & colorful NP reference books

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Reference books are essential to clinical practice. And if they’re available in a pocket or lab coat version, even better. I don’t feel bad in the least about pulling out my handy dandy pocket resource to suit the moment. Hey, it’s better to be accurate than concerned about appearing to be omniscient. We’re only human, right. And that’s why these tiny books pack such a powerful punch. Not all of these are pocket versions, but they do provide useful knowledge at your fingertips and are worth keeping close by for quick clinical reference. Here we’ll explore some handy NP reference books for clinical practice.

1.   Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia continues its tradition as the leading portable drug reference. The pharmacopoeia has been a staple among clinicians the world over. New to the 2020 edition are the following edits: updated with new drug information, new drugs reflect innovative trimester scheme for describing pregnancy and reproductive risk based on FDA’s updated Pregnancy and Lactation Rule, outpatient pediatric drugs table revised to extend age ranges and reflect new recommendation that volume of liquid doses be measured only in mLs, renal dose adjustment symbol to indicate when a drug needs a dose adjustment or is contraindicated in renal insufficiency, FDA guideline updates, removal of discontinued drugs and outdated dosing information.


2. The 5-Minute Clinical Consult is a reliable, go-to resource for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.  This bestseller provides rapid access to guidance on diagnosis, treatment, medications, follow-up, and associated factors for more than 540 diseases and conditions. This version is not a pocket guide, but the 5-minute clinical consult is available online if you prefer to have a portable version.


3. Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnoses in Primary Care goes beyond basic history and physical examination skills to help you learn the diagnostic reasoning process. You will develop this key skill by following assessment guidelines that focus on a specific complaint rather than beginning with a previously established diagnosis or disease entity. Written by advanced practitioners, this edition includes a new chapter on The Transgender Patient that gives you the knowledge you need to properly assess and care for this underserved patient population. It also features expanded coverage of geriatrics, highly infectious diseases, coordination with the interprofessional healthcare team, genetics/genomics in lab testing and family history, updates on psychiatric-mental health problems.


4. Advanced Practice Nursing Procedures provides a detailed synopsis of commonly performed procedures and “how-to instructions” to complete procedures.  Each procedure provides coding guidelines, lists CPT codes as well as modifiers, an overview of causes, incidence, and other procedure-specific information, health promotion/prevention and offers tips to pass on to the client to promote health or prevent the need for the procedure in the future. The title lists one to four methods of performing the procedure and offers a choice of how to perform the procedure. Other subsections include rationale, indications, and step by step instructions.


5. The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine is a must-have resource for fast answers to diagnostic questions you’ll face on rounds and exams. It provides up-to-date, dependable guidance on the internal medicine information needed to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Compiled by residents and attending physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital, this best-selling reference ensures that quick access to key clinical information and solutions to common problems in internal medicine is as close as your pocket!


6. The Sanford Guide To Antimicrobial Therapy 50th Edition of the leading clinical reference on treatment of infectious diseases and anti-infective drug information. Helpful in day-to-day practice and as a component of your organization’s antimicrobial stewardship program, The Sanford Guide provides valuable guidance in the age of antibiotic resistance. Popular with physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians, The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy provides information that is convenient, concise, and reliable.


7.   Bright Futures is the pediatric quick reference tool and training resource for busy health professionals. It includes every visit from birth through age 21. Also included in the appendices are Developmental Milestones at a Glance chart, Recommended Medical Screenings chart for infancy through adolescence, Sexual Maturity Ratings scale, and more pertinent pediatric care recommendations. 


In this post, we explored some incredibly useful and handy NP reference books for clinical practice. No matter your clinical practice setting, there’s something here for everyone.  I hope you find these titles useful in the clinic or on the floor. Which clinical reference books can you recommend? 

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