First semester Expensive

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    I am getting ready to start my first semester of nursing school and its VERY expensive. Any ideas on how to cut cost????
    Kandy83 likes this.
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    I found one of the most expensive aspects of nursing school (other than tuition of course!) were the books. I spent several hundred dollars on books my first semester. I recommend checking them out on Amazon instead of ordering them brand new through your school's bookstore or B&N...oftentimes you can get them for a lot cheaper and it will save you a ton of money. After my first semester and after making friends in the program, we started to trade books amongst ourselves. For example, I might be doing my psych rotation while some of my friends were doing OB...when we switched, I would lend them my psych book and they would lend me their OB book. That definitely saved us some money, too.
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    Thanks for the input. Thats what im going to attempt. I know this first semester is killing me with shots, physicals, books etc. Not to mention background check and other nursing supplies...Whew!!!!
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    The city I live in has a low-income shot program at the health department. It drastically reduced my cost of required immunizations. Like another poster said, I would suggest buying textbooks online as opposed to the campus bookstore. If you have close friends in the program, sharing is an option. Also, apply for scholarships. Do your research before applying though. Scholarships from my school and local organizations have greatly helped me! Best of luck!
    Cuteypie504 likes this.
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    Thank you :-)
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    Check to see if you can buy any of your books off some of the students a semester or two ahead of you in the program.

    I never buy ANY book from the bookstore -- Amazon or Ebay always have way better options price-wise. Just be careful about renting textbooks -- my program has Med-Surg I, II, and III, and they all use the same textbook. If you rented that same book three times, you'd be better off buying it.

    Used/older editions sometimes work just fine for some of your book needs, too -- you can get multiple careplan / nursing diagnosis books for under $5/each (including shipping) at places like BetterWorldBooks.com. Same for lab/diagnositic books and "clinical companion" books (the smaller one you can take to clinical instead of your textbook). Same for "optional" books and study guides. Same for drug guides (the difference between a 2011 drug guide and a 2013 will be minimal from an informational standpoint, but the price difference is about $30).

    In addition to the assigned textbook, I personally like to get an entirely different textbook (like Med-Surg or Critical Care or Psych or whatever) from BWB so that I have something different to read -- sometimes the way a different author describes a disease process or a procedure will just "click" better for me versus how my required textbook author described it. A $5 textbook from another author can make all the difference when it comes to understanding the material, passing the class, and passing the NCLEX!

    Another suggestion is to ask each instructor if the "required" books are actually required to pass their class (as in, will there be assignments that you will need that exact book in order to complete). My first Med-Surg class had a particular lab/diagnostic book listed as "required" and a particular study guide listed as "required" and a particular NCLEX Review book as "required"... turns out we didn't need ANY of those exact books... just needed "a" lab/diagnostics book, and that students in previous classes found the study guide helpful, and that studies show that students who do practice NCLEX questions do better than students who don't. So the instructor made the study guide and NCLEX books "required" as a way to "help" students. Saved myself close to $200 on books that were allegedly "required" just because I took the time to email the instructor before the semester started.

    Ditto for my psych-nursing class -- we were supposed to get a "required" psychiatric nursing diagnosis/careplan book, but it turns out that the instructor just wanted us to have "a" psychiatric NANDA/careplan book, b/c our program's required book was crap for the psych portion of the program. Saved myself another $75+ on that by getting an old one from BWB (and my classmate borrowed MY book all the time b/c it was way better than the "required" one she had gotten!).

    Welcome to the adventure that is Nursing School!
    Last edit by brillohead on Dec 7, '12 : Reason: found a typo -- DOH!
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    I have digital textbooks. I just put them on my ipad and off I go. They are cheaper too. Maybe look into that?
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    Great suggestions, Brillohead! We have several professions who told us on the first day that if we hadn't purchased our textbooks yet, that it would be okay to get one edition older if we could not afford the newest edition. The page numbers are usually different, but generally speaking, the material is the same. They of course preferred us to have the newest edition if possible, but if our finances didn't permit it "we would be fine with one edition older." The exceptions they made to this were drug guides and pharmacology books. Since drugs change so often, our professors said we should invest in the latest edition of drug books.
    brillohead likes this.
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    Thank you. This information is so helpful. I just went to the website and the book are crazy cheap. Almost unreal. I found one book I need for $4.38!!!! Cant believe it!!!
    brillohead likes this.
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    Their service is really great, too. And if they don't have a book, they show you other sellers who do have it much of the time. (You don't get free shipping from other sellers, though.)

    I've found lots of older-edition "for dummies" or "made incredibly easy" type books there, too.... and you can often get three for ten bucks (they have sales a lot, they'll send you an email and let you know after you order from them). Happy shopping!
    Cuteypie504 likes this.


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