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New nursing student question...what do you use to carry all these books?!


What do you recommend? :confused:

Honestly, I rarely take my books to school. I have a North Face backpack with a padded compartment for my laptop (which I only sometimes take to school). I would occasionally take a book but mostly I had my binder - one huge one with stuff for every class so I didn't have to be organized and make sure the right things got into the correct binders or that the correct binders made it to class on their respective days - and pens and paper. With the big binder and sometimes my laptop, my load was semi-heavy so I appreciate having a well constructed backpack with sturdy straps.

ER(notso)n00b, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 2 years experience.

I just bought a backpack with wheels. I haven't used it yet since my school doesn't start until next week, but it was recommended by several students in the class ahead of me.


Has 1 years experience.

I also rarely take my books to school. I only bring my binder. I would wait on buying a pricey backpack until you know if you are going to need to cart them around. I have a $9 basic canvas pack with one pocket and have never felt that I needed anything bigger/ better. (Unless you have a laptop that needs protecting)

Not to knock the people with wheeled backpacks, but I would caution against them. Some of them dont easily fit under the desks and you end up having to leave them in the aisle. People have to climb over you. People trip. It can be distracting during lecture.

Dont sweat the small stuff though. soon enough you will have much more daunting perdicaments than which pack to choose. :)


Specializes in Pediatrics and Med Surf Float. Has 5 years experience.

my books usually stay at home. some classes i left the book in school and followed the teacher in the book and carried the book home in my arms to study for the test. to school i use the LL bean super deluxe book pack. got it about 7 years ago, used it for 2 and still looks new. the super padded straps are prob the reason i can stand up straight. i carry 1 1/2 binder for current notes which i transfer to a 3" at home after each test. i very rarely bring my laptop but it does fit in my backpack. besides the binder, i have pens, pencils, sticky notes, planner, and personal journal. heavy stuff like 3 hole punch, tube of hand cream, water bottle, and computer paper live in my locker in school. if you know you have a weaker back i say get the wheely.

jesskidding, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

You don't need to take all your books with you. If you want to take any...find out exactly which one(s) you will need for that day and just take those. I rarely take my because everything we need comes from Power Points.

Pneumothorax, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

Also, if u really need to have a book with u in class u could check out the heavier ones from the library that class per so ur not hauling 200# of text with u for 8hrs

I almost never have a textbook with me at school unless I know I am going to have some weird time inbetween class to read. I also break my classes down into 1 inch notebooks and take them as I need them. I have not had a problem yet.

A back pack on wheels!!! Those roller back packs are life savers. Im a nursing student and thats what I use. Im also lucky enough to have lockers at my school..If you don't have lockers then I recommend leaving your books in the car and just go back and forth and get what you need, because If you carry them ALL- it hurts!! ;)

Hope this helped... and good luck in school :)


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I went through several backpacks before finally investing in my JanSport backpack. (padded shoulder straps, laptop compartment).

I always carry my books to class - if I have a break, I leave some in my car and switch out during the breaks so it doesn't kill my back. I like my bookbag because I can fit everything I need (my classmates joke about me because I have everything, but funny they always come and ask me if they don't! ) And if I have extra time, I have everything I need to do homework or whatever I need.

I'm not a big fan of the roller backpacks. The one I had, when I decided to pick it up and put it on, the wheels dug into my lower back. (it snows where I am so sometimes I had to pick it up like that...)

What do you recommend? :confused:

A Forklift?

Seriously though, like many have already mentioned, I don't bring books to class, unless we are told specifically to "bring this or that book tomorrow". Not only would I need a suitcase to bring them all, I bike to school, so I try to minimize what is in my backpack...folder with powerpoints, notebook, water bottle, lunch, bike lock, etc...it fills up rather quickly. If you are just starting, you just have to feel it out to find out which books (if any) you need to have in class.

I will be purchasing a backpack on wheels and praying I don't have to carry every book for every class. :lol2: To me, thats rediculous...but whatever. I'll either leave my books in the car and carry the ones I need if I know I'll be using them, or put them in my locker (I'm fortunate to have one, thank goodness). With breaks in between classes, it should work out and I'll be able to fetch them.

I use a JanSport rolling backpack (got on clearance for $35 this time last year from officemax). I actually haven't been using it as much since pretty much all of the books include an access code for an online version. Any work we do at school that involves computers means you have access to the books as well.

I also have a Jansport backpack with wheels. I actually got it a few semesters before I even started because I hurt my shoulder and couldn't carry my regular backpack. I love it! I can stuff half my life in it!

I have a rolling backpack, however I don't use it much. My books usually stay in my trunk, and I go get them as needed. Whatever works for you. Typically I don't need a book for lecture. Do anyone else's books smell like coffee?? ;)


Specializes in Cardiac Care.

A laptop... I downloaded the e-copy from the Elsevier website of all my textbooks that they published. Also, I never had a use the actual textbook during lecture so I ended up leaving them at home. Besides my lectures were all on powerpoints anyway!

I've been out of school for about a year now but here's what I did...I had a 3 prong folder for each class as well as a portfolio that could be divided up. We used PowerPoint pretty much in every class so I would print the PowerPoints for that class that week and bring them in the folder to take notes on and then file them by week in the portfolio at the end of the week. We also were given objectives to guide us With the reading so I would type those while I read and printed them out to go with that week.. Sort of ended up being like an outline for the chapters to study with. When I got to the tests I had each week neatly organized with outlines and PowerPoints with all the notes on them. I used a back pack but with the lightness of the folders it was easy to take 1-2 books you might want to bring..don't try and carry everything for a class for the whole semester! I did it for a few months and there was no need. You just kill your back.

NottaSpringChik, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

Here is something you might consider that I and many of my fellow students did. We had a MED-SURG book that was so huge it was totally crazy. It weighed >9 lbs and was so thick that when you opened it parts of the pages were obscured in the center bulk. It was unusable because of it's girth, as well as being a danger to small animals or babies (what if it fell off the table!), not to mention the infeasibility of transporting it to class. We took them to a Kinkos that did binding and had them cut up and rebound in sections. Everyone did it differently - some by the sections according to the study guide, others by sections of consecutive chapters. One suggestion I can make is to have a table of contents page, glossary and index copied and included in each section. This did not adversely affect the longevity of the textbook-I stil have and use all the sections for further studies and reference. It was quite affordable to do this also.