I have a new Macbook Pro Non-Retina and it has the cd drive. There's also a Macbook Pro Retina and it does not have a cd drive. I chose the original Macbook Pro non-retina for the cd drive. I also have a new Ipad 4 and I use it way more than the Macbook Pro. It is so easy to carry around and pull out and study. The size of the Macbook Pro both retina and non-retina is 13 and 15 inch.
Yes, you can enter the disc in the non-retina Macbook Pro. No, for the retina display. Take a stop by Apple store they have them out on display.
If you've got the cash to shell out for one of those babies, sure. Do you have to drop a G on a laptop for nursing school? IMO, no. I got by with an entry level $299 Toshiba Satellite. I could access the internet and I could email as well as do write-ups and prep sheets. I would make sure it has some sort of Word processing program, even possibly Excel and Powerpoint viewer.
I was given a Mac book pro and and iPad mini to help me study and honestly I love them both so it depends on what you plan to do with the MacBook. But a regular computer will also serve the purpose. If you can save the money and put it toward books or your tuition.