senior in high school starting pre-reqs...

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


Hey everyone!

I am going to be starting my senior year in high school in the fall with a full course load of anatomy and physiology, physics, pre-calc, and some others. At my local community college, bunker hill, I am going to be taking College Writing 1 and drug calculations. I am very nervous yet very excited to start. I don't exactly know what to expect from these two classes and I want to be able to get my foot in the door for their Associates in nursing program and then transfer later on for my bachelors and masters. I am trying to decide whether to buy new books or rent or buy used, I don't know how much homework to expect and I don't know how hard the material is, I also don't know what it is like to be in a lecture class. I would like to be able to move out after getting my RN and associates and work part time along with getting my bachelors.

Any tips and experience?

thank you!


Hi Danielle! You sound very busy, but plenty excited :) When it comes to textbooks, try to find the best deal. Personally I LOVE which lets you rent books. Shipping is free & they include shipping labels when you return books. Also try amazon and, where you can look for used books at great prices. Also, I found that college does not assign as much homework as high school. Yes, English does have papers but in my science classes, usually the grade is based off quizzes and exams but that is all. So I recommend studying from day 1. The ADN (and then later BSN and MSN) is a good way to go. I recommend taking any BSN pre reqs with the ADN pre reqs. Usually the BSN will want the same science pre reqs as an ADN, but the BSN also wants more humanities and social sciences. Try taking one of those with your ADN pre reqs so you don't have to spend more time after you have the ADN trying to finish BSN pre reqs. Good luck!

Specializes in Hospitalist Medicine.

Zoe92 just gave you the same advice I was going to type!

Just remember that college professors will not remind you to study chapters or do homework like high school teachers. You're expected to follow the course syllabus or course schedule that's given to you on the first day of class. It's up to you to stay up-to-date on your reading and/or homework assignments. Many professors assign homework that does NOT count as part of your grade. I see so many younger kids just blowing off this type of work because it "doesn't count". Well, if you don't do it, it's much harder to get an A in the class because you're not as prepared. So, do everything asked, even if you won't get graded on it.

Make sure you are taking classes that will apply towards your BSN as well as the RN. Some programs differ in their requirements. For example, the RN program I'm applying to only requires Intermediate Algebra. However, the BSN program requires that you take Biostatistics. Since that course is offered at the community college, I can take it for less money than if I waited to take it at the university. Try to get as much done for less $$ as you can.

I also agree with Zoe92 on for book rental. Also, check your college's bulliten boards for students selling their textbooks. Sometimes, you can get an even better deal from a student who took the same class the previous semester.

Best of luck to you!!!

As far as books go, I rented all of my pre-req books except for A&P and some lab books since my chem professor wouldn't accept photocopies. You'll save a lot of money renting instead of buying or even buying used. So try out chegg, textbooks(dot)com, or even your school for rental programs and rates.

If you go to a good high school, they won't be much different than your high school classes have been. "Lecture" means it isn't a "lab" rather than that the class is actually lecture. Some profs like a lot of class discussion, some don't do much if any ... most want at least some.

How much homework is assigned varies tremenously but doesn't really matter much... because you should be putting the study time in anyway (rule of thumb is two hours of study time per hour of lecture time). If homework isn't assigned then you will be wise to assign some to yourself. It is much easier to stay a little bit ahead than to catch up... so look over the material before the lecture on it and leave yourself margins in what you do and when you do it.

Make sure you go to the first class - and pay attention. It often feels like a gumby class because it is usually very short and it seems like you are just going over the syllabus and very basic, common sense things you have heard a thousand times before. But it is the most important class because the prof will tell you what he expects and wants... and what he doesn't want. Even though most of it is the same as the other thousand times you've heard it, the subtle differences will matter - sometimes they matter A LOT.

Drug calculations are easy math but very, very, very picky. They have to be very picky: putting the decimal in the wrong place will often kill the patient. If it doesn't seem like easy math, you just need to learn a few things.... not many but you need to have them down solidly.

The best place to get books is the library. Even if the library doesn't have the right book, they can often get it through interlibary loan.

If that doesn't work, I buy. So far, in every case in my family (there are five of us in college) it has been more economical to buy than to rent. Usually, we can find the book for less than the rental and sell it afterwards. Even when it has been a bit more to buy it, we sold it for more than the difference. It does take a little bit of managing to buy/sell at the right times, though.... otherwise it comes out even with renting.

The next best place (after borrowing the book) is networking with friends or friends of friends - some circles of frineds set up facebook pages just for book exchanges.

The next best place is craigslist if you can find them there. Whether you can depends on what school you go to and what program you are in and what level you are. The prices have always been lower than anywhere else - much lower than renting and you get to sell the book afterwards. Also, you can look at the book before you buy it.

There is no single next best place.

The cheapest place is goodwill type stores but the odds of finding the book you need when you need it is fairly low. I've found a few.

Sometimes you can find books on message boards on campus. They are usually the right edition but usually only a little less than a used book at the campus bookstore.

Bookstores are notorious for high prices but that is not universal so it is worth checking there for a least a few terms.

If none of the above work, then I buy from Amazon. I've checked the other book selling sites but none of them beat Amazon (some do at a spot in time, sometimes, but none do if you watch the trends and buy at the right time).

All of the above are for the correct edition of the book you need... or older editions.

I usually get an older edition and save anywhere from a few dollars to a $180 per book. Sometimes, the profs told the class the older editions are acceptable. Sometimes I can get a look at both and can see there are no significant differences. Sometimes there are some significant differences but they are limited and there is a copy of the correct edition in the library or resource room so I make it work. Sometimes, the prof doesn't use the book at all - which you find out from friends,, and other ways - but be very careful assuming that - even if they don't use the book, I still read it and it helps. And remember than they can be using the book even though they don't assign anything from it. Sometimes there is no sensible way around getting the correct edition.

Good for you Dannyb! You are a busy person! But its great to see young adults take ahold of their education and run with it!!

As for the textbooks- I have just started to rent mine from They have great deals and if you can take care of the book and not destroy it, it is usually the best deal. But also Craigslist will offer you fellow students trying to sell their slightly used books for cheap also.

There are several books I bought new and kept for myself because I can refer back to them in case I need- My Anatomy and Physiology textbooks and my Medical Terminology Textbook. The Anatomy books I marked up pretty bad- highlighting and notes on every page... lol.

Good luck to you!!

Specializes in Neonatal ICU.
If none of the above work, then I buy from Amazon. I've checked the other book selling sites but none of them beat Amazon (some do at a spot in time, sometimes, but none do if you watch the trends and buy at the right time).

I just spent a ton of money getting my books for the first semester of Nursing school. But I have to agree with Saysfaa about watching the trends on Amazon and other places. My school bookstore was selling my Med Calc book for $103. I found the same book brand new on Amazon for $72 and ordered it last week. A couple days after I ordered it, I looked up the book on there again, and it had gone up to $96. I'm so lucky I bought it when I did! I was still annoyed when the book came yesterday and I realized I spent $72 on a super thin paperback book with a CD, but still...definitely shop around! I'm weird and prefer to get my books new if I can because I like to highlight and make my own notes in them, but not everyone is as weird as I am. :lol2:

Good luck to you! It's great to see someone your age seriously considering your future already!

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