I've got a tip for all of you future nurses. One thing that helped me with nursing school was subscribing to a couple of general nursing journals.
Yep....I am suggesting that you read EVEN MORE than what you are assigned!
Go with me on this a minute and I'll explain why. Nursing journal articles are generally short, to the point and easy to read. Heck you can read 'em in the bathtub.
They help you to start thinking like a nurse, learn how the terminology is used and cover things you will be learning in class. When I had to learn about acid-base balance I was struggling....... then..... like magic, my trusty nursing journal had an article that explained it in terms that I could understand. I copied it for all of the students in my class!
I know your books cost a fortune and money is tight. Most journals have student rates though and it is probably more affordable than you think. But you could even consider getting 2 or 3 friends together and each subscribing to a different journal and then swap. A journal club! Lot's of working nurses do that too.
What should you subcribe to? That is harder to say. I subscribed to Nursing 03 (with the appropriate year of course!) and American Jrnl of Nursing. I don't think either of them is fabulous now but they have good basic nursing info. If you have time, go to the library of your nursing school and spend an hour or two reviewing what is there and find a journal that you like.
Good luck, welcome to nursing and I hope this helps!