Jump to content

Buy nursing books from School bookstore or other websites?!


Hi guys!

So I start nursing school in the fall at Wayne State, and would like to buy my books ahead of time. If I buy used books from my university bookstore the total comes to be around $800. I looked on a few other websites (amazon, alibris, ebay, abebooks, and etc), and got my total to be max $200. Who wouldn't love to save $600 on books?! lol. My only concern is that if I get them from other websites I may not have the CD's, and access codes. Are they really that important? Would buying them from other websites, versus my school bookstore put me at a disadvantage or do you think Ill be okay?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Go through amazon. College bookstores charge list price. Also see if you can use a previous edition. Most profs are open to that if there's been little change in the field of study.

Carefully read the descriptions. I always made sure the cds were mentioned in cases where I thought they were needed and never got burned.

I totally concur with emtb2RN. I have purchased almost all of my books through Amazon. By the way, Walmart is a good site to check as well as sometimes their new books are cheaper than used on Amazon.

rob4546, ADN, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 7 years experience.

Also search Wal-Mart with the ISBN#. You would be surprised, my op peds book was on there for much less than amazon and all I had to do is pick it up at my local store (site-store).


Specializes in Cardiac Stepdown, PCU.

Check with your program. Find out if they use the CD's or if you need the access codes. If not, then by all means go for Amazon! Just make sure you read the description of the used books! Pay a little extra for a book in a little better condition. We all say we don't mind a book with some highlighting and notations until we actually get them.

And, even if you DO need the access codes, check out the publisher site, you can usually just buy access yourself - and that might be cheaper too.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

Rent!!!!! I have rented all but one for my RN-BSN program (I bought the newest APA book as I will use it every class). I wish I would have discovered this early, although I got pretty decent money selling through Amazon. Amazon is the way to go. They have rentals too (usually not the cheapest though)

I would also make sure the books aren't going to change between summer and fall semesters. Just because it's on the website doesn't mean it will be the same book come fall semester.


Specializes in CVICU. Has 1 years experience.

I have bought all my books off Amazon without issues. If the booklist says that the CD/access code is required, buy the book new so it comes with it.

definitely buy off amazon! the school bookstores always charge too much and if you end up without the access code, the book's website often lets you buy the access code by itself; I've done this for pearson multiple times and it still ends up cheaper than if I bought from the school bookstore new or used.


Specializes in Neurosurgery, Neurology.

I'm using Amazon for all of my textbooks. One of the RNs I work with said I should buy books that will be helpful in the future (whether for the NCLEX or in practice), such as the texts for health assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and fundamentals. For classes like my transcultural nursing class, research, etc, just rent those.

I'm getting everything used, except for lab manuals. For example, I got the Physical Examination and Health Assessment textbook used, then got the companion lab manual (required) new, because it doesn't make sense to buy things like that used, with the answers in it already. Same with my clinical calculations textbook/workbook.

The only downside of getting these books used is that someone already highlighted them! But I'd rather deal with that and save my money.

My first semester I had to buy them through the bookstore, as some books were written by instructors. However, besides that I always did amazon or half.com. Read the descriptions, most will tell you if they have CD or access code included, if not you can message the sellers directly. :)

I always check Bigwords.com before anything else. It lets you search by ISBN and tells you the cheapest place to rent and buy each book. I have often found my textbooks for less than Amazon, even (although they usually have great prices, too).

I just completed my first semester of nursing school and I rented most of my books from Amazon and purchased those that I would use in future classes like Med/Surge I and II (we have two books that are used for both level 1 and level 2).

Also check with the instructor on the workbooks and guides that may be suggested. Two of my classes required two text books, plus procedures list, workbooks, flash cards, etc. The first day of class I asked if the workbooks were required and was told that no they weren't but they were "nice to have." I sent those back for a refund.

I agree with many of the others! Check first that the edition isn't going to change before you begin. I have successfully bought from amazon, abebooks, and Chegg. I have never had an issue with the access code not working except for through a rental. I personally use the access code to take the online or disk practice tests. Chegg allows you to rent, if it's not a book that you'll need for the entire two years of the program. I bought the ones that I was going to need to re-use, and rented the rest. If you're not sure if you'll be re-using anything from semester to semester, just shoot the course instructor an email. They will usually be happy to tell you. I have also bought older editions on ocassion from graduating students- the teachers usually have a page conversion chart because they don't always buy the newest edition either. My teacher gladly let us make copies of the chart (even though I'm sure she wasn't supposed to)- as long as we did just one for ourselves and didn't share it with everyone. Just something else to think about! Good luck!

You would be far better off renting your books from Campusrental.com or any other rental book company. I rented my book for 9 weeks for $35.00. It was new and I paid postage one time. Campusbookrental.com paid the postage going back. Also the books were new one could yellow them or mark them any way one needed too. I would say why keep the book when it will be old and no one will buy it. I bought a new book from the University book store with a coupon for $125.00 off. The book still cost me $180.00 and it was old so I couldn't sell it back. Just rent it is cheaper and saves more money.

Desert Lady

All that is needed is the ISBN number and rental books are the way to go. I wish I could have sold you the large 2 volume of the stupid book that cost me $300.00 for my Medical Surgical books. I still have them and would love to get rid of them as they did not do me one bit of good. They are still like new. and I wish I could get rid of them. Any place you work they have good up to date medical surgical books. So don't waste your money and buy from the rip off book store.

Desert Lady

Check if you need the access codes! I had a stats class where many assignments were available only through the access code.

And guess how much the access code is compared to the textbook :mad:

Yeah books can be very costly... its ridiculous paying an arm and a leg for a book and then getting barely nothing for it when you do the book buy back. Thank you all for the great advice!! I will most definitely RENT all my books! Thanks again!(: