Podcasts, which you can listen to on your way to work or at the gym, are an excellent way to stay current on topics that interest nurses. We’ve rated various podcasts in terms of relevance to nursing life, production value, and ‘listenability” (basically, is this interesting and engaging?). The first ten rated below are produced specifically for nurses. The second ten are nursing-relevant but cover general health topics and are aimed at a wider audience. The last five are podcasts that are no longer being updated, but contain excellent information and may still be downloaded to your device.
10 Best Nursing Podcasts
Focus: Nursing News and Interviews
Jamie Davis starts the show out with some interesting news related to nursing. He then does an in-depth view of a specific topic such as diabetes vision loss or what it would be like to have a career as a specialist in wound care and ostomys. Well-produced, and engaging, Jamie has a website that provides links to topics covered and further information if a particular episode interests you.
Focus: Clinical Topics in Emergency Department Nursing
Honest and humorous, The Nursing Crash Cart offers an insider’s look at ER nursing. In the episode, 10 Reasons NOT to be an ED Nurse, Cameron relates how ED nursing, at its worst, can mean that RN stands for dispenser of “Refreshments and Narcotics.” At the same time his passion for ED nursing shines through and at the end of the episode one might decide, “I’d like to try that!” Other episodes feature engaging and in-depth looks at selected clinical topics. Each episode is introduced by rock music which feels appropriate to Cameron’s direct, no-holds-barred approach to podcasting.
Focus: Nursing News and Information, Nursing Careers
Hosted by Jamie Davis, these podcasts usually take the form of Davis interviewing a nurse about a particular nursing specialty. If you are interested in finding a specialty, or interested in the work of other nurses, this podcast does an excellent job of giving an in-depth picture of each particular field. Sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson’s “Campaign for Nursing’s Future,” these podcasts are based on an email newsletter called “Nursing Notes.”
Focus: Career Development
Keith (Carlson) is adept at stirring the imagination. He uses stories (hear about General Patton’s hemorrhoid remedy in episode 33!), word images, and colorful metaphors to make his talks interesting. After an episode, you’ll most likely feel encouraged, inspired to greater creativity, and grateful to be a nurse. If you are in the job market, would like to make a change, or simply want greater vision for the job you have, this podcast is for you. As an award-winning blogger, author, and career coach, Keith brings a wealth of knowledge to career development. While at times a little redundant, overall this is an excellent podcast.
Focus: Concise Reports on Research Related to Nursing
Ever wonder if your practice is based on research or just “that’s the way we’ve always done it?” These short podcasts bring nurses up-to-date on recent research related to nursing care. Topics range from pain control in children to the optimal time of day for dialysis.
Focus: Nursing Care for the Elderly
These highly relevant, content-packed podcasts are produced by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and funded by the Centers for Heath and Aging. Each podcast is a lecture by an expert in the field with questions at the end by audience members. Load these on your device, and you’ll get regular doses of graduate level content for free.
Focus: Nurse Entrepreneurship, Self-Care, Lifestyle Design
Produced by Marsha Battee, author of “The Bossy Nurse” blog, these chatty, conversational podcasts focus on helping nurses avoid burnout and create their own work lifestyle. If you are interested in novel approaches to work, maximizing your own freedom and autonomy, and being your own boss, this podcast is for you.
Focus: Hacking Nursing School
Nursing school is challenging. If you’d like your own free cheerleader, check out Jon Haw’s podcast. He provides steady doses of encouragement with topics like “how to be mentally strong,” and “how to not hold yourself back.” He intersperses these with episodes on selected diseases and drugs to help students retain critical information to pass the NCLEX. While some of the longer episodes could benefit from more aggressive editing, overall Jon’s supportive and informative podcast is well worth a listen.
Focus: Medical Topics Relevant to Nurses
Some of these short episodes are curated from the CDC and other general medical information sources. The topics are those most relevant to the nursing scope of practice.
10. Nurse Talk
Focus: A Progressive Take on Political Issues Related to Nursing
Short in length (2 to 10 minutes), these well-produced segments provide updates on political candidates and issues related to health. Associated with National Nurses United, these podcasts help nurses think about how the problems we witness locally can be addressed through politics.
10 Best General Medical Podcasts
1. The Checkup
Focus: Health News and Topics
Health reporters Carey Goldberg and Rachel Zimmerman present health topics in a lively, investigative fashion. Whether they are busting diet myths or talking penis size, this podcast, presented by Slate and radio station WBUR, will keep your interest and expand your expertise on a wide range of health issues.
Focus: Health Research, Innovation, and Information
From emotional first aid to the overuse of antibiotics, TED talks present interesting health information in an engaging style. Usually less than eighteen minutes, TED talks keep you up to date on interesting breakthroughs in medical research and current matters in human health. We’ve highlighted some of the most relevant TED talks for nurses.
Focus: Spanish Language Acquisition for Medical Settings
These well-produced podcasts offer Spanish dialogues with patients in a number of settings. The podcasts help nurses acquire medical vocabulary, learn correct pronunciation, and understand native speakers. Many podcasts are offered for free, while some (and supplemental materials), require a paid subscription. Spanish language beginners may find it worthwhile to pay for the subscription, while intermediate speakers may find the free episodes sufficient.
Focus: A Variety of Medical Topics Related to Health Promotion
The CDC offers dozens of podcasts on various medical topics. Those of most import and interest to medical professionals and the general public can be found here. Generally short, they are a good way of staying up to date on basic medical news. Some of the podcasts are translated into Spanish. A great way to build your medical Spanish is to listen to the English podcast first and then the same podcast in Spanish.
Focus: Getting Healthy Through Good Nutrition
Hosted by licensed nutritionists, dietitians, and educators from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, this show covers a wide range of topics from avoiding weight gain over the holidays to what you need to know about dietary supplements. Around 45 minutes in length, these shows provide expert, in-depth information on a popular level.
If you’ve ever wanted to spy on Continuing Education for doctors, this is a fun way to do it. HippoEd offers entertaining podcasts that explore various topics in emergency, primary, pediatric, and urgent care medicine. Although designed for doctors, these podcasts have a lot of practical information relevant to nurses.
Focus: Basic Health Care Topics for the General Public
These podcasts come in a very short version (“A Minute of Health with CDC”) or a version that lasts 3-6 minutes (“A Cup of Health with the CDC”). While the health topics are basic (“eat your vegetables,” or “fasten your seatbelt”) the podcasts often feature interesting statistics or facts that can be useful when educating patients.
8. Health Focus
Focus: General Health and Medical Topics
Host Bobbi Conner of South Carolina Public radio interviews various doctors and nurses about the management of various diseases or issues relevant to medical professionals. At four minutes each, these podcasts are a good way to reinforce your health and medicine knowledge.
Focus: Briefs on Various Medical Topics
These short podcasts (usually around a minute) provide a expert perspective on the latest medical news. At times frustrating because they are so short and somewhat superficial, these podcasts provide nurses with the latest info in medical news.
10. Nutrition Diva
Presented by QuickandDirtyTips.com, Monica Reinagel helps us all hack good nutrition with these short (6-17 minute), information packed podcasts. While her extended spots for show sponsors are irritating, the topics she covers are interesting enough to justify a listen.
5 Best Older Podcasts
In the following category, these are podcasts are not currently being updated. But, they contain excellent information, and are well worth downloading to your device.
Focus: ICU – Selected Clinical Topics
Andria created some solid podcasts as a new nurse in the ICU. She explains complex topics in clear ways and tells stories to help listeners remember concepts.
This quirky cast covers various “how to” topics such as phlebotomy and doing neuro checks. Engaging and to the point, these podcasts are a good way to get the basics on how to do various nursing tasks.
Focus: Cancer – Psychosocial, Spiritual, and Clinical Topics
Although no longer being updated, this series of podcasts surveys everything from “Centering Prayer” to “Radiation in Head and Neck Cancer.” Many of the topics covered (like self-advocacy and uncertainty) are suitable nurses in most settings. Although the audio is not of the highest quality, the content–offered by experts in the field–is excellent. Around 20 minutes each, they hit a nice middle ground for length.
Focus: Overviews of Medical Disciplines and Diseases
These 29 podcasts span a range of topics from allergies to complementary and alternative therapies. Presented by doctors, these 6 to 19 minute podcast provide a basic overview of each topic.
Sponsored by Travelnursing.com, this series of 14 podcasts covers topics like “How to Choose a Travel Nurse Company,” and “Landing Choice Assignments.” While the series is a little dated (the last one was produced in 2009), it is still a great way to learn about travel nursing.