How do I cite a nursing textbook?


Do you want to cite a whole book or a chapter in a book?

The first step is to figure out what type of book you have. In APA Style, there are two “types” of books:

  1. The first type is a book written by one person or group of people. Since the whole book is written by the same people, the whole book will be in your reference list. It doesn’t matter how much or how little of the book you used! 
  2. The second type is when each chapter is written by different people. This is common for nursing textbooks, where each chapter in your textbook is written by a different expert. It’s important that we give credit to each of these experts/authors, so you need to put every chapter you used in your reference list separately.

If you’re not sure what type of book you have, check the first page of one of the chapters. If the first page of the chapter has an author, then the book is of the second “type” and you’ll cite each chapter individually. If there is no author associated with each chapter, then you’ll cite the whole book. 

If you’re citing the whole book, use the Book example on the Library’s APA website.

If you’re citing a chapter, use the Chapter in an Edited Book example

Chapters in Edited Books

For a normal chapter in an edited book, there will be a chapter author. This is the person who wrote that exact chapter. In your reference list, the chapter author is listed as the author, in the first position. 

There will also be editors. These are the people who put all the chapters together into a book. In your reference list, the editors are listed after the chapter title, and before the book title.

Because we’re citing a specific chapter, there is also the page range for the chapter. In your reference list, include the whole page range for the entire chapter, even if you didn’t read the whole thing. Note that your in-text citation will refer only to the specific page you're citing, not the entire page range of the chapter.

Chapters with Canadian Editors or Adapters  

An additional factor with nursing textbooks is that many are originally American publications that have been adapted into a Canadian context. APA does not have a rule for these types of adapted textbooks. At RDP Library, we’ve worked with Nursing Instructors to develop guidelines to help you manage citations for adapted books. These rules aren’t in the APA Manual; they're only on the RDP Library website and they're written specifically for the RDP context. 

Canadian Editors

If a nursing textbook has been adapted into a Canadian context, there will be original (in this case, American) editors. There will also be Canadian editors. You need to include both sets of editors in your reference list entry – the original editors will always come first. See the "Example: Chapter in an Edited Book with Canadian and American Editors" section of the Chapter in an Edited Book example.

Chapter Adapters

Some textbooks will also have chapter “adapters.” This is when each chapter has an original author, and then also a person or people who adapted the chapter into the Canadian context. In this case, the chapter author – the person who actually wrote the chapter – goes first in the reference list entry. The chapter “adapter” will go after the title of the chapter, along with an abbreviation to describe their role as adapter.  See the "Example: Adapted Chapter in an Edited Book" section of the Chapter in an Edited Book example.



  • Last Updated Feb 28, 2024
  • Views 65
  • Answered By RDP Library

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