Good question! Well, if you are able to get any aid or qualify for the BOG waiver, that is a TREMENDOUS help. Unfortunately, they go off of your taxes from two years prior and my husband happened to do well that year, so I didn't qualify for any assistance. SO, to answer your question, books are pretty expensive. Your professor will explain the book situation the first day of class. I WOULD NOT recommend buying the books ahead of time or separate. The book company has a deal with the school to sell them cheaper as a bundle. The first set of books you will need in the winter cost about $300. Then when you start your first semester, they cost about $650. The good this is that these book will then last you the ENTIRE program (all 4 semesters). Also included are the books in online form AND a bunch of supplemental information and questions. SO WORTH IT! So although it seems like a big chunk of change all at once, they do last you the entire program and you will not need to buy other books.
As far as working goes, it is fine during the intersession (winter), but once first semester comes around, it is near IMPOSSIBLE to work. I think there are 3 or 4 people in our program that work part-time or less. The amount of time you spend studying, reading, doing assignments, writing papers, and 20 page care plans, is pretty insane.
My advice is to read, read, read!!! Do as many problems as you can (back of the book, online, quizlets), buy an organizer and really stick to it because due dates come up quick, and there are SO many things to keep in order. Also, you are required to do 12 hours of community service with the elderly. I recommend getting that out of the way ASAP! Also, as soon as you get an assignment or paper topic, GET IT DONE! This is not the place to wait last minute to do things.
Also, most importantly, it is VERY important to have YOU time. Take a few hours or a day to do something you enjoy.... Nursing school is incredibly stressful and hard, so you need mental breaks to regroup and let go of the stress. :)