About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Advice on Textbooks

You may remember all of the textbooks I bought for first year – I spent close to $1000 on books alone. Then I went hungry but not *quite* hungry enough to eat a textbook. Well, surprise! Some of those books I barely even cracked open. Here’s what I did for this year:

I didn’t buy a damn thing. Not one.

I know, I know, I can hear you WTFing from here! “But I’ll fall behind on my readings!” you say? I hear you. This is what I did, and I didn’t fall behind on my readings – all it took was a little ingenuity.

The Internet. Wow, DO NOT spend money on an APA guide. Everything you ever wanted to know about APA, including cool APA citation generators, is available for free online. Use your head to make sure it's up to date, and otherwise you're good to go! Also there are a shit ton of free review resources available for any class you could possibly take. Save your money on a study guide and use Google instead.

The Library. Last year’s editions of textbooks. EZ PZ. I’d just borrow it and renew it halfway through the semester. If I couldn’t borrow it, or if I needed the current edition, I’d just hang out at the reference desk for a couple hours on a Saturday.

About 2/3 of the way through the term I knew which books I’d need for the final and, more importantly, which books I’d want to have as a reference in the future. Those ones I bought online through Amazon and, I shit you not, saved at least $100 on the cover price, and there was free shipping too!

Out of all the ‘required’ books for this year I think I bought

The OTHER great thing about Amazon was that I could read the reviews of required books. You may have encountered the UTTER FRUSTRATION of shrink-wrapped textbooks at your school’s bookstore. How the hell are you supposed to know if you like the style of it? A great example is the
textbook I was assigned for Patho. The book got a 1-star rating from a lot of nursing students because of poor readability. One reviewer advised that it was actually a poorly condensed version and the full book was very good. I got it at the library to compare and I totally agreed, so I bought the better book.


Cartoon Characters said...

I would tend to agree with you about not buying books. I tend to encourage book rental if a student actually wants one for her own use. NEVER buy. 10 years from now, all books are pretty much obsolete and ready to be binned. That's what I did with mine. You can't even donate them because NO ONE will take them. Once you are working, you won't want to use them. Most Units have Unit specific books and MORE if you need any books for research/information. Or their library. NEVER BUY. It is a waste of $$ - of course unless you like to buy books because you have nothing better to spend your money on....

Student CNM said...

Thank you for this bit of advice. As I went through my prereqs, I barely used my required texts, and probably could have gotten away with not even renting them because most of the instructors tested off of their notes. I recently received my booklist for my first term's classes, 12 books that are all $100+. I know I need at least one of them because we have homework due before the term starts and I will probably rent two more, other than that, I think I'm going to use the wait and see approach for the rest to see if I really need them.

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Thanks for your thoughts :)