How to get textbooks


What is the best way to get textbooks for nursing school? Should you wait for the first week? Or will you have too many assignments if you decide to rent? Speaking of which, should you went? Or is it better to by used from either online or your classmates? I assume you should almost never buy new, unless it is for online homework access. What was the cheapest way you got your textbooks?

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

A few of my books have been used for more than 1 semester, it was cheaper to buy them than rent them for multiple semesters. I wouldn't wait. I know in my nursing school, you were expected to have already done quite a bit of reading before the semester even began! This is nursing school, get into the mindset. Start early. Get those books and get to studying!

Have you been provided with a textbook list for each of your classes, yet? Whatever you do, if you required to get any brand new editions, order early, as they can go on backorder quickly. It sucks when you have to buy a new title just to get an online access code. If you're diligent about researching it with the publisher, you can sometimes find the ISBN to get the access code separately from the text, and then use an older, used edition of the text. They're rarely changed much, the biggest hassle is usually just page numbers changing.

Some texts are also available *cough* for free *cough* online *cough*, if you know where to look and don't have ethical scruples about that.

Specializes in ER.

Get them before the first week. I would recommend looking on the book store and getting the ISBN. Then utilize this website:

It'll look for the cheapest options. Some of them I will buy new because I will need to use them for a few semesters and it wasn't that much of a price difference.

I have bought international editions before but I caution on those because if they want you to do homework, usually the homework and the "fluff" stories (like if they want you to follow a patient's story to help understand the content) will be changed. I used international editions for diagnostic labs/tests, anatomy, microbiology (I knew teachers didn't use homework from the books, just readings), and a few others. Usually international edition is the same price as used or even renting. Sometimes they are black and white though.

Also, in the past I have seen people also purchase "unbound books." Basically they are loose leaf pages that you can put in a 3 ring binder. I know one girl in our anatomy class used that. My international edition for anatomy was still a lot cheaper but if they needed to use homework problems then hers would have had the actual homework problems. Sometimes I have used e-books but I am not a fan of them. It is easier to utilize an index in a real book.

Also, when I rent I get the books before class starts.


62 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry. Has <1 years experience.

I buy most of my books and access codes on Amazon. My school book store just started price matching Amazon this semester, which was nice. I was then able to use my financial aid to pay for them vs paying out of pocket, as in previous semesters.


271 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

Our school bookstore will price match Amazon, but you have to pay the full price up front and then get a giftcard for the difference. Personally I tend to always buy textbooks, especially in nursing school. Often you use these textbooks throughout the program. I do tend to buy them used, especially if I can get a good deal.