Book Review: Aspire to be Inspired

Book Review: Aspire to be Inspired

With two hours of sleep and sitting on a turbulent plane cradling a bad cup of coffee, I started Aspire to be Inspired, by Keith Carlson. About one month prior to being airborne, Keith Carlson had sent me his new book to read. Having enjoyed his first book, Savvy Networking for Nurses, I was looking forward to Nurse Keith’s latest edition. As a disclosure, I became friends with Nurse Keith one year ago, when we met at the National Nurses in Business Conference in Las Vegas. Funnily enough, we are both from Santa Fe, and with a population of only 60,000 people, it took a conference in another state for us to meet.

Getting back to the plane, bad coffee, and new book, I was pretty exhausted. The previous day had been a hard one, one where clients were unreceptive to nursing help, families wanted the opposite of what was needed, which was all topped off by rescuing a family member from a bad accident. But this is the day in the life of a nurse, some days are literal car wrecks and you do your best to salvage some peace of mind just knowing you made it through the day. Or, you get up, get on a plane, and read some inspiring words from Nurse Keith.

A collection of short essays, Nurse Keith writes on everything from new nurses finding their identity to bolstering the efforts of nurse entrepreneurs. My favorite chapter, the Polymath Nurse, delves into the passion of those nurses who love to learn about all things (i.e. YOUR NURSE FRIDAY!). Nurse Keith writes the way I wish to: simple and straightforward, integrating his own experiences with poetry, history, and pop culture. I also enjoyed Nurse Keith’s focus on nursing as an ever-evolving practice. Your career is what you make of it and Aspire to be Inspired drives this point home for nurses in all phases of their profession.

A quick and fun read, it certainly was what I needed after a rough day/week/month of home health care. Nurse Keith’s last chapter resonated with me, as I am so often guilty of working 24/7. “Cultivate soul in others”, says Nurse Keith, with the purpose of being able to nurture all around you – your clients, staff, coworkers, family members – as well as do this in turn for yourself. An admirable goal and something for which we can all use a reminder, which Nurse Keith always does so well.

Interested? Check out Aspire to be Inspired: Creating a Nursing Career that Matters by Keith Carlson at And if you are looking for more information about the author, check out to find all about this awesome nurse coach and blogger!

Aspire to be Inspired

Aspire to be Inspired by Keith Carlson

Home health nurse and wearer of many hats in sunny Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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