Need a little help from my role models!

Nurses General Nursing


I hope I don't offend anyone by posting a msg here since I haven't even been to school yet, but I figure who would better know the answer to my questions than a nurse! I have no previous training, and don't actually start school until next year. I have 3 wonderful little girls, who take up a lot of my time, so I was wondering if it would be silly to try and learn a little b4 hand. Can anyone tell me the name of a book that I could buy that is used in the classrooms today? Any advice on any materials to study to help get me prepared would be greatly appreciated. Needless to say, I'm scared to death, but also determined! My email is [email protected] Thanks- Sandy

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,056 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Contact the school of nursing or schools bookstore for a list of current textbooks they are recommending for your first nursing course. Each year, professors revise their recomended text books, so may be a different text come May. If the school has been using the same fundamentals book for 3 years, odds on they will use the same one.

OR , you can see if the bookstore has a used book for purchase, that way if the book is changed, won't have a big outlay of cash.

Alternate, is borrow a textbook from local library or the school library, if they permit guests to borrow (if not taking prerequesites yet.) Hope this helps.

Can also start by just studying medical terminology from a nursing website for review...that's usually a bigger hurdle.

Hope this helps.

Good web site to start with:

Edited for spelling....Brain where's our spell checker!:confused:

Specializes in NICU.

I don't know about your area, but our nursing school library held a book sale every fall and got rid of old nursing texts and journals and stuff like that that they had too many copies of, or donated books that students had offered when they graduated to help the school make money. Most of the books were less than four years old, and I bought a wonderful pediatric nursing text that originally cost ninety-five dollars for two bucks!!! Plus a stack of nursing magazines for a quarter each. You may want to call the nursing schools in your area and ask if they have events like that. I agree with the above poster that you could benefit from learning medical terminology; they have small handbooks, text books, and work books that you could either get at the school bookstore or the regular bookstore (Borders has a nice selection of nursing books to choose from; Barnes and Noble also has them but their selection is mostly limited to medical texts and large expensive nursing textbooks. The terminology could help you even if you decided to go into another area; for instance, becoming an OR tech or a medical assistant or something else besides actually becoming a nurse, and would give you a huge jump start because medical professionals speak a whole new language!! If I were going to suggest something, I would say that if you're serious about putting in a little bit of money (if you're curious just go to the library...) you should think about getting, for instance, a Mosby's Nursing dictionary, which is full of pictures and lots of interesting information, and perhaps the terminology book (a small one just to get you started), and seeing if you could buy a first semester textbook from a student who is moving on or from the used book store that carries it for your school. That way you don't have to shell out a whole lot of money, you get a good start, and you have enough to keep you busy and help you begin to decide where you want to take your education. Good luck!!


5 Posts

Dear highasthesky,

I read your post and it seems as if I could have posted the same message.

I will begin school in the Fall 2002. I am a mother of three little girls also. I will begin when my youngest starts kindergarten next fall. I am excited about starting school....though a bit nervous to begin school again now that I am 33.

I have been "lurking" behind the scenes here and have been reading these posts almost everyday for about 3 months. I think I am slightly addicted to this site (ha, ha). I have finally registered.

I am also interested in reading & doing everything I possibly can before starting school just to have a jump start....and to start school with a bit more confidence.

Good luck!



aimeee, BSN, RN

932 Posts

Once you know the name of the text you are looking for you might also try searching for it at I've picked up a good bargain on a used text or two there.


1,827 Posts

:eek: :eek:

I agree with the above posters especially scouring the medical dictionaries and medical terminology.

I'm also a nursing student and I've learned so much from coming here.

I did Medical transcription for many years and you have to know medical terminology, the dictionaries become your friends, very useful.

Mosby's is excellent. Stedman's. It is a good idea to contact your school and find out what they would recommend.

Good Luck, you will enjoy learning and your children will continue to be proud of you.

Carpe diem


657 Posts

hi :)

might want to start out with college biology and then go to anatomy and physiology. the nursing materials you read will make more sense.

good luck :)


108 Posts

Specializes in All Surgical Specialties.

I suggest getting yourself a Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary . Use it for casual reading and just to flip through to look at the neat pictures and diagrams. It is not real expensive and will be useful when you get to school and not likely to become outdated too soon. (It has a history of being republished about every 4 years or so.)

Specializes in NICU.

Not to be too disagreeable, but I personally prefer the Mosby's dictionary because it has actual, full-color photos, etc. to the Taber's. I have found out of the two- and I own both of them- that the Mosby's was the one that left me with a real understanding of what I was looking up, as well as leaving me with a sometimes graphic visual image to enable me to recognize a certain condition in the clinical setting. Just my opinion, though!!



108 Posts

Specializes in All Surgical Specialties.

Thanks KristiWhite2377 I'll have to check that one out.



1,827 Posts

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Hi Again,

I have Mosby's- excellent, Stedman's- Tabers- very good also, one Collegiates and 5 Merriam-Websters. Plus many older versions.

Sometimes you can find used Medical texts online, just be sure it's the version that you are looking for.

I love dictionaries !:rolleyes:

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

My vote is for a used anatomy and physiology text and the best medical dictionary you can find. A&P knowledge will give you a leg up on all your courses, and the medical dictionary was my best investment in nursing school and beyond. I have highlighted all the words I have looked up in the past, and it is amazing and encouraging when I look back on all that I've learned. I also was able to tell if I had looked up a word before- then I know it's important and the information sticks in my head better.

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