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essential books for nursing students

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What books do you guys recommend for a 1st semester nursing student? Looking for books that will (hopefully) make life just a little easier in NS.

I'm curious about this as well. Anything needed besides what will already be on the required book list? A secret weapon? I'd heard a good NCLEX prep book can help with studying. Any of the 150+ choices out there stand out from the pack for that purpose? Thanks for the help...

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

I start in the Fall, off of other threads I read on here I bought, Pharmacology made incredibly easy. (it is like 800 pages long so I hate to see just the Easy or Regular version :stone)

I also bought, Fluid and Electrolytes made incredibly easy. We went over this in Pathophysiology that I just got done with, but I don't feel like I got it down GREAT and my teacher and tons of nursing students said that this will be crucial to grasp, that is vital in Nursing School. So I got that to help me as well.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_1_20?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=pharmacology+made+incredibly+easy&sprefix=Pharmacology+made+in

I also got this computer program for Dosage and Calculations so I can make sure I have a strong grasp on this beforehand since we have to pass the tests 100% on it.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Calculating-Drug-Dosages/Sandra-Luz-Martinez-de-Castillo/e/9780803615328/?itm=1

Get a couple of NCLEX prep books includung a large question bank that can be sorted by system or topic with good rationale. I used Saunders Q&A because they not only rationale but strategy to approach each question. I loved Pearsons Exam Prep for the content but not the test bank. Illustrated Study Guide was recomended and helpful. I also went online and order their CD of graphics. I got as many of my resorce books on PDA as possible so I had everything with me at the patient's bedside/chart.

I agree with the NCLEX prep book. Personally, I like Prentice Hall.

One thought: I wouldn't invest anything in extra books until I saw the study aides that came with the required text books. Most now come with CDs and access to web sites that are pretty useful. They usually feature NCLEX-style practice questions.

I am waiting until I receive my acceptance letter but I also like the Prentice Hall NCLEX-RN reviews and rationales, and have heard good things many times now about the Fluid and Electrolytes MIE book. I also got the Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy (I am currently taking Pharm) and I bought RN notes for clinicals.

I am kind of a book fanatic so I am going to attempt to keep it to a minimum. If I can contain myself until the 23rd of June I will get my booklist that day!

I agree with the NCLEX prep book. Personally, I like Prentice Hall.

One thought: I wouldn't invest anything in extra books until I saw the study aides that came with the required text books. Most now come with CDs and access to web sites that are pretty useful. They usually feature NCLEX-style practice questions.

My stuff all came with study aids, but each chapter had about 14-16 questions total; CD, web, and end of chapter. The chapters are really big so 14-16 questions wasn't nearly enough questions to study with. NCLEX books are a good investment because you will use them all through nursing school, and then after to study for NCLEX. They definitely teach you how to answer this type of test question and you will absolutely get your money's worth out of them! The Incredibly Easy books are good too, but I agree you should wait and see if you will really need them before investing money.

This is probably a stupid question but can you buy these books at like B&N or only online? Thanks....

Yes, I got mine at Borders, but you can get them at B&N, Amazon.com, even Half.com or Ebay. Just be sure to get as current a edition as you can, esp with books related to Pharmacology or any drug book.

Ok thanks! I thought so, just wanted to be sure before going to the bookstore.

Sure you can buy them at the store, but why would you want to. They are about double the price in the store vs online (used). However, it is nice to be able to flip through them before you buy them, if that is why you were asking. For study manual type books I do not buy them used unless they are "like new". However, some people actually buy them in terrible condition. I accidentally did and was even able to turn around and sell it!

Some books that I think are essential:

* Physical Examination & Health Assessment by Caroline Jarvis

* Calculate With Confidence by Deborah Gray Morris

* Nursing Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy

* Fluids & Electrolytes Made Incredibly Easy

* a drug book!

* a nursing care plan book! or care plan cards...I like Sparks & Taylor's Nursing Care Plan cards. A nursing care plan book by Carpenito-Moyet was a requirement for my school but I don't really like using it that much - to me it is kind of confusing. The care plan cards are great imo!

* a lab value book!

* Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

I would definitely invest in Lippiincott's Manual of Nursing,it is expensive but at the same this it is a great learning as well as reference tool,it helps you to put all the puzzle of nursing care together.

I definitely like the book called Prioritization,Delegation Assignment practice exercises for Medical-Surgical Nursing by Linda A.LaCharity,this particular book has plenty of multiple choices questions,case study questions,I believe it helped to think more like a real nurse.

I also can throw in few other helpful books.One is pharmacology success A course Review applying critical thinking to test taking by Ray.A Hargrove-Huttel.

From the same series another good book called Medical-surgical success by the same author,hundreed of NCLEX-like questions,rationales for each.

I would also invest in 3 or more NCLEX books like Saunders or Lipincott.I have both in a book style and and flesh cards that I can carry with me in my purse and study anywhere.

Lastly buy a NCLEX RN 3500 or NCLEX RN 4000 (the newest editon that just came out) CD.

first semester :

reviews and rationales for fundamentals

test success for fundamentals (don't waste money on test success for beginning nursing students-i used an older edition from half.com)

i used fluids and electrolytes reviews and rationales though most of the book is used later on it did help with the fluid and electrolytes i needed in first semester.

drug book, lab book, or pda with these programs.

Nepenthe Sea

Specializes in PICU/Pedi. Has 5 years experience.

I would definitely invest in Lippiincott's Manual of Nursing,it is expensive but at the same this it is a great learning as well as reference tool,it helps you to put all the puzzle of nursing care together.

I got that book, brand-new and hardcover, off of Amazon.com for $22 plus shipping. I don't remember how much it is in the bookstore, but I got it for WAY less. Check out online bookstores, and even Ebay, for really good deals.

BTW, my care group leader last semester said she got a super-expensive stethoscope off of Ebay for cheap, so it's good for finding other supplies, too.

For first semester, the MOST helpful book for me was a care planning book. I bought an NCLEX book before ns started. I tried to use it to study with during first semester but since that semester is primarily about learning skills I didn't think it was all that helpful (most questions were over my head at that point). Second semester I used my NCLEX book to study for tests with and it helped considerably. First semester all I really needed was the care planning book and the NANDA, beyond my required books. I also bought a pocket medical dictionary and it was helpful as well.

rachelgeorgina

Specializes in ..

Harvard's Nursing Guide to Drugs (Tiziani, A) 2006

The clinical placement. An essential guide for nursing students. (Levett-Jones, T. & Bourgeois, S) 2007

Health assessment in nursing. (D'Amico, S. & Webster, S) 1995

Nursing diagnosis handbook. An evidenced-based guide to planning care. (Ackley, B. J., & Ladwig, G. B) 2008

Each semester's instructors in our program have an NCLEX study guide that they like. One likes Mosby's one likes Prentice Hall. My study group has pretty much all of them now :specs:

We create our study guides for that tests material. We do study groups, and include test questions from each of the appropriate sections in the books, as well as the NCLEX style questions from our textbooks. We have had instructors who actually use the questions from some of the books, and from some of the textbook testbanks.

I have had people talk about buying testbank questions online - I'm not sure how that would work since you have to understand the rationale. Plus most of our instructors create their own questions even if they use some from the books.

The one thing I can say about nursing school is that the most important part is learning how to think and reason a question out. The questions are generally not memorization, other than the need to memorize what certain s/s are -you still have to know why those are the s/s. Understanding the pathophys is crucial.

Hope this helps

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