How much does edition matter in textbooks?

  1. Hi, guys. I'm in the market for a reference nursing textbook. I heard some good things about Brunner. For the current edition (10th 2003) I'll have to shell out about $100 but for last edition (9th 1999) I only need about $30. Do you think it really matter which edition I buy? Could I get away with buying the edition that's not the most current or would content difference justify the price gap? Any advice on a well written reference nursing textbook would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. by   cursenurse
    i made it all the way through nursing school having bought only one book! editions do not make any difference. i once had an A&P instructor tell the class that the whole textbook market was a racket, making people run out and buy new editions that had only minor changes. i used a 20 year old book in his class, passed with a B+ (the technology was quite behind however.) to get through nursing school i would get the list of required texts and go to the college library and check out the most recent book. it would be the same title/author, just one edition behind. i always compared my book to my classmates-no major changes! whenever i wrote my slightly older edition down on a careplan or paper as a source no instructor ever acted funny about it. also at the college library we could check out books three times for a total of 9 weeks, the classes only lasted for 7 1/2 weeks so i could borrow the books for the entire class time. sometimes nursing instructors would have the same editions of books i would have- i guess they figure why should they keep spending money when not much has changed as far as material. if you're creative you can get through school without spending thousands of dollars on books.
  4. by   dimpsogre
    It depends somewhat on what you want the book for. If you’re buying it for your personal reference and the book is not required for a class, an older edition (assuming its still current—say within 10 years old or so) is fine. There aren’t many substantial differences from one edition to the next for most textbooks. However, if you’re buying it for a class, be careful. Although the previous poster had good luck with this, many instructors assign homework problems from the book. Problems are one of the few things that often change from edition to the next. If the instructor heavily relies on the text in class, there also might be some confusion (page #’s may be different, equation reference #’s may be different, etc).
  5. by   VickyRN
    I agree with the previous poster. Proceed with caution. In my current research class, there is a great deal of difference between the current and last edition on one of our required books, simply because the research articles in the book are entirely different! My suggestion is to borrow a copy of the current and last edition and compare! If there is not substantial difference, then go with the cheaper edition. Another word of caution--most nursing instructors require citations of textbooks and scholarly articles to be within the past 4-5 years. Citing an older edition might result in a downgrade.
  6. by   mochabean
    Okay. I'm moving up this thread.
  7. by   RNperdiem
    I have a collection of vintage nursing textbooks from the 1930's and the 1950's.
    It is amazing how nursing practice changes over the years.
    If your textbook is only a few years old, go ahead.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    If this is for school, proceed with caution. My experience has been that it was usually safe to get a text that is one edition less, when it came to required textbooks. For personal reference, get what you can afford.
  9. by   mochabean
    I"m definetly going to get the previous editions of the books I need to get, as long as the last edition isn't too old. I created a 'wishlist' on amazon of all the books I need to get. I've estimated that I"ll be spending roughly $300 on textbooks.
  10. by   truern
    I *never* bought the current edition throughout NS and I saved a TON of money compared to what my classmates spent! Yes, the page numbers would be different, but I'd just look up the topic from the syllabus before class and mark my book accordingly. I never once had an issue because I was using previous editions....unless you count having extra $$$ an "issue"
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    I remember once, a professor used to teach a course from a book that was neither recommended or even suggested. In fact, she used to test from it. I saw the book, which was current and it cost close to $90, and then, I decided to purchase a used one-one edition behind. I was fortunate enough to obtain a brand new book for a whopping $3.00 from Amazon. Got an A in the class.
  12. by   mochabean
    For my psych class I'm using an old edition of the book; it was $7. My micro book is from the library and the lab manual I rented from chegg was $17. I guess I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. In the letter from school it said it was important to get books accompanied with a CD. I don't think I've ever used a CD that came with the book.
  13. by   boggle
    With some texts, I don't think it's so important to have the latest edition.

    Chemestry, micro, psych, physical assessment.... not so much changes in the body of knowledge in a few years.

    Lab test books and pathophysiology... the last editions are usually ok if you also have the ability to search on-line for new information.

    I would recommend you seek out the latest Drug books and Nursing Skills/ Procedures books though. Drug information changes too rapidly to rely on outdated texts. Nursing Skills/ Procedures are all being pushed to revise, update, and follow evidence based practice. You will refer to those texts throughout your nursing school career and (hopefully)beyond.

    With some courses, I didn't need the the required texts for every assignments or even every week. I just did my homework in the library and used their texts.

    I do regret selling my anatomy and physiology text. I would like to have it to refer to.
  14. by   mochabean
    Here are the list of books I have to get for class:

    Davis Drug Guide for Nurses, 11th
    Fundamental Success: Course Review, 2nd (Nugent)
    Taber Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, (indexed), 22nd
    Davis Comp. Handbook of Lab and Diagnostic Tests, 3rd
    Pharmacology: A nursing process approach, 6th (Kee)
    Taylor Fundamentals of Nursing
    Weber Nruses Handbook of Health Assessment
    Taylor's Video guide to clinical skills
    Nursing Care Plans and Documentation (Lippincott publisher)
    Calculate with Confidence, 4th ed. (Gray Morris)