For Current Anne Arundel CC Nursing Students

U.S.A. Maryland


I am currently awaiting AACC's decision regarding NS admission, but in the mean time I am trying to get ready

as if I were already accepted. My question to any/all current students is: what do you wish you

had done/someone had told you PRIOR to your first term of NS.

It seems to me after browsing old threads that you don't use all the textbooks that they list for

you, so which ones are mandatory and which can leave out?

Also, did you find out which books you will need during the orientation over the summer? I'd like to

try and start getting the necessary textbooks now.

How many of you read ahead in your books and if you did, did you find it helpful?

And one last question, besides books, what other materials do you need to purchase that first

term of NS? Will you need uniforms, shoes, PDAs, scrubs, stethoscopes.

I want to try an get an idea of how much extraneous money I will need to have.

Thank you so much ahead of time for all the advice!


33 Posts

Great questions. I am anxiously awaiting the LETTER from aacc too.


23 Posts

I KNOW...waiting is like torture! We've had our applications in since March 15 and waiting one more day seems unthinkable! I am trying t cam down and just enjoy the days but around mail delivery time, I get all excited again.

I do remember in the Orientation they said that our letters would go out "sometime around Memorial Day week." I've looked around this site and saw that last year some people didn't get their letters until the end of the first week in June...but that could have been because their application deadline was later.

Anyway, I hope someone posts here who is currently in the program! Good luck!!!


411 Posts

I just finished my first semester at AACC and loved it. I will be glad to answer any questions I can.

What books to read over the summer?

Review and Rationales: Nursing Fundamentals - great overview of what you're going to be immersed in next year.

Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgement, Alfaro-LeFevre - on recomended list, could get at library or used. good stuff though.

Test Taking Strategies, Barbara Nugent - I read this cover to cover prior to class, I think it helped being prepared for test taking, questions format, et cet. Can get used, certainly.

Anatomy and Physiology - CRITICAL. especially if it has been a while. This will get you far! Really understand cardiovascular, respiratoy, gas exchange, diabetes, and overall organ systems/placement. Ths is so key because if you know it ahead of time, you will not have to be studying the basics on top of everything else.

Many people complained that we didn't use all of the books, but the books you buy first semester are for your entire 4 semesters. Some we barely used, but will more in the future (i.e. Psych nursing) I couldn't pick one that wasn't a great book and useful in some capacity.

Check this site for the above books:


Yes, you will need a uniform (all white, pants and top) nude colored undergarments (duh) a penlight, bandage scissors, Kelly clamps, white shoes, and a stethoscope. There are numerous threads about how much to spend on a stethoscope. I chose to go high mid-range and got a Littman Master Classic. Probably overkill, but I figure I will use it for many years and my hearing isn't as good as it was when I was younger.

We were required to have the PDA. I choose the Palm T/X and really love using it. I put a couple books and two NCLEX review books on it in addition to the required software. I know folks in class who put the software on their iPhone or Blackberry and did just fine. Take your time and wait on that one. The downside to the PDA was that faculty were not very knowledgable about it's capabilities and functions. I thought that if they were better trained on it, they would be able to integrate the PDA's advantages into the program better. Either way, everything is going digital and it is a great tool to have. I got mine on sale on the Palm site. Regularly they have these "spend over $300 and get $100 of your order" deals. Shop around.

Keep me posted and good luck!


23 Posts

SiennaGreen, thank you soooo much for responding so thoroughly! You were actually one of the people I was hoping would respond to this thread.

I can't wait to check out the books you recommend for summer reading and I am also glad that I know now that I'll need a PDA so I can do my shopping now.

We should find out some time after Memorial Day about our status in the program and I will definitely keep you updated.

Did you have APII at AMIL with Prof Aiken. I was reading some of your past posts and you sound like someone I met in that class.

Thank you again!!!


411 Posts

Yes, I did. Funny, I was thinking the same thing...did you move here from somewhere south, maybe? Previous Bio/Pre Med degree? And I ran into you downstairs after you turned in your application?

I heard them talking about what a great group of applicants they had this year. Ours was the highest average GPA they had, and I think this incoming class beat ours and they had even more applicants. Don't let that discourage you at all though. I used a couple C's on my list of pre req's w/them because I used an Intro Eng. & Algebra from my first college stint 17 yrs ago. There are always so many rumors floating, and the rumored GPA they cut off at was higher than my pre req GPA (and others in our class) :chuckle

Feel free to PM me any time!


23 Posts

Yep! That's me, lol, that is so weird how you can get an impression of someone through just what they type!

For some reason my profile says I'm not permitted to send PMs, otherwise I would have PMed you originally!

I do have a question though, when you go to Orientation after getting your acceptance letter, do you get the list of textbooks you will need?

Just anything else you can tell me and all the other AACC hopefuls about Orientation, first day of classes, first semester of classes, etc.



411 Posts

Orientation was such a blur. I think because I started in Spring, orientation was two weeks before classes began. Hopefully, yours will give you a little more time. Yes, we got the list of books at orientation. The main Fundamentals book we purchase is by Taylor/Lilley/ et al. and that you get a better deal on if you purchase through the bookstore. They have a package deal w/the book, study guide, videos, et cet.

I don't know what kind of advice to give. I always felt like people had this cloak and dagger thing going, where if they "told you, they would have to kill you" in regards to what happens in nursing school. It's not a sorority. I will say this. I was prepared for it to be brutal. It wasn't. The faculty have the expectation that we are adults and that we will do the work required. I actually found that they did quite a bit of "hand holding" with some people who for whatever reason didn't think that the rules about showing up at class or homework applied to them. Overall, first semester was about laying the groundwork knowledge wise, but also setting the expectations in time management, test taking, self discipline, et cet. You may struggle at first, but consider it a learning curve, adjust your strategy, and you'll find what works for you. The people who have diffculty are the ones who get offended or defensive when things don't go as well as their pre req's have. If only I had a $1 for every time I heard "I got straight A's in my pre req's! It's not my fault, it's the...(professor, material, questions, fill in the blank)" Reality is, it doesn't matter. You're the one who has a choice. Make some adjustments, figure out what is expected of you, and bring it! Or...don't. Overall, the professors were VERY kind and willing to help us in any way they could. You'll do fine.

I made a choice between AACC and UMD, and now I am soo glad I chose AACC. Granted, the campus isn't as fancy or cool but everywhere I have gone, from clinicals to my personal physicians office, have said "AACC Grads know their stuff. We love having them come work here" In addition, now with the economy tanking and my house value plummeting (gasp) I am super grateful that I will not have 30k in student loan debt hanging over my head when this is finished.


33 Posts

siennagreen - I hope you don't mind I sent you a pm


32 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry.

I just graduated from AACC on May 21st. :) I actually did my first semester of nursing school in another state but I will say that the first semester is the worst because they are teaching you how to think like a nurse. I think this is true of every nursing program. Every semester after gets easier because you will feel more comfortable and build upon your knowledge and skills.

I started at AACC in the second semester and I would definitely recommend getting more than one of the Reviews and Rationales books. Some of the professors will take test questions directly out of these books. I would suggest getting the R & R Med/Surg, Patho, and NCLEX review books at the very least. I used these to help study for every test and I got A's and B's. As someone posted previously, some of the required books won't be used until 2nd, 3rd, 4th semesters so if you wanted to wait to get them until later you could. As far as the assigned reading, I would skim through the chapters before the lecture and then go through them after the lecture with the powerpoint to review important points.

If you have any other questions about the program, feel free to PM me and I'll help if I can. :)


23 Posts

Thanks for the advice! I am getting nervous because they said they were sending out the acceptance letters some time around Memorial Day, so the anticipation is crazy!

I am def going to look into those review books you mentioned!


23 Posts

akmegs2, thank you for you response! I found out two days ago that I got in!

I do have a question: what nursing shoes do you prefer for comfort, support and cleanliness (i.e., antimicrobial so they don't stink!). I have seen everything from all white sneakers to danskos to Crocs. I wouldn't want Crocs with the holes, so what do you recommend?

Also, which brand white scrub pants have the most coverage and aren't easily seen through?

One last thing, there is a small possibility that I may have to move 1 semester away from graduating. How easy was it for you to transfer from one NS to the next?

Thanks ahead of time!

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X