Are recommended books necessary?

  1. Happy 4th of July to all! I am starting my first year of nursing school this fall and was wondering whether it is wise to purchase the recommended books in addition to the required books. I have purchased one of the recommended books under the advice of the school's librarian as she indicated that the instructors take alot of information from that particular books on exams. I am currently reading "How to Survive and maybe even love Nursing School" and have come to that chapter and their are conflicting opinions to this. One person said she didn't bother with them while another said they read everything and found that on the tests the information in the recommended books was often on them. Please help! I am more than willing to do the reading, but don't want to waste money on books that aren't necessary.

    Thanks so much!
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   chicookie
    I didn't use them at all. The first ones I bought were a waste of money and then to top it off I couldn't sell them back. So I wouldn't if I were you.
  4. by   boggle
    You could check to see which are available in the library and use them once or twice there before you make your decision. (Buy the ones you know you will need to refer to in the wee hours of the morning when finishing assignments).
    Good luck.
  5. by   busby's mom
    Thanks so much chicookie! That's what I was afraid of happening and there are several recommended books.
  6. by   nsrs2005
    Well some of the books are also online for dirt cheap. So I would also try there so just in case you dont really need them you would not have wasted that much money on them. Especially when buying them used thats the best thing to do. Search the web engines for cheap textbooks and there are alot out there. some are,,,, and you have amazon and barnesandnobles books used so thats what i would recommend especially since you start school in the fall. Good luck
  7. by   dreavt
    Unfortunately, I think it really depends on the program, the instructor for a specific course, and your learning style. My first semester I bough all the recommended books (mostly study guides for the text books), and never touched one of them. *More* than enough to study/refer to in the required books. I bought them all used when available, but stil probably spent an add'l 100 bucks on books. With them just sitting on my shelf taking up room, I still got all A's. After that, I decided on a case by case basis, though I never bought another study guide, I did sometimes buy a more comprehensive text/reference when the required one seemed skimpy (an example are the physical assessment books we used in the 1st semester of my 2nd yr) -- if I could get it fairly cheaply.

    OTOH, I had a classmate who *always* bought the study guides and used them religiously, and felt that was the reason she usually got A's too. For a particular instructor, this classmate told me that certain questions on the exams were almost straight out of the study guide.

    So it depends on your finances, your instructors, & your learning style. If possible, I would check with people who've been thru your program, or are ahead of you in the same program.

    Good luck!

  8. by   shrimpchips
    In my experience, I never used them - they were a waste of money.
  9. by   NamasteNurse
    You can't really take the advice of an online forum, you need to talk to someone who actually took the class you will be taking. Every teacher is different and in my class the instructor was astonished that everyone didn't get the recommended books and told them they weren't serious students. A lot of information came out of those books. Go to ebay or amazon and buy used, sometimes they are just a few dollars.
  10. by   MedSurgeMess
    honestly, sometimes even the required books aren't necessary! Just check with those who took class before you that had same professor....some of the booklist can be a BIG money scam
  11. by   Whispera
    It's my experience that instructors will tell you, the first day of class, whether the recommended books are highly recommended or just a bit more information. I learned never to buy the "recommended" books until after the first class.
  12. by   PAERRN20
    I would buy older versions of the recommended books. I bought a book for $10 that was the 4th edition of the book while the 5th edition was selling for $100+. The information is basically the same. This would work wonderfully for the recommended books. FWIW, I didn't use my recommended books much. I wish I would have known to buy older editions when I started college.
  13. by   LiferRN
    I always wanted to read any information for myself and decide whether or not it was useful to me. Learning is never a waste of time, whether or not the information shows up on a test. Good luck.
  14. by   Chelley076
    I'll be in my second year of nursing school this fall. Personally, I always buy all the recommended texts as well as the required. I also agree that it depends on the intructor, some utilize the recommended texts more than others. But overall, I would say that buying the recommended texts were beneficial to me! Please let me know if I can answer any other questions or concerns you may have about beginning school! Congratulations and Good Luck!!!

    Michelle Willerford
    Elselvier Student Ambassador