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Like many nursing school students, you were probably pretty shocked when you went to purchase college textbooks for the first time. Unfortunately, college textbooks are pricey in general, and nursing textbooks tend to be pricier still. It is important to account for the cost of textbooks when creating a budget for your educational expenses. Better still, find ways to save money on these textbooks. Read on to pick up great tips for saving money on nursing textbooks.
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If you are experiencing sticker shock from the price of nursing textbooks, you're not alone. Many nursing school students struggle to afford theirs. The good news is that you don't necessarily have to buy new books at full retail price. There are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of nursing textbooks, but the following eight tips are the most useful of all:
1. Skip the College Bookstore
Sure, it's convenient since it's right on campus. However, you can be certain that you will pay full list price and then some if you purchase nursing textbooks from the college bookstore. While you may have to buy specialized materials from your professors there, including custom packets, you should otherwise be able to find most of the textbooks that you need online. Online textbooks retailers tend to have much more competitive prices, and it's actually a lot easier to find what you need since you can just search the store's online inventory.
2. Invest in Books That You Will Use Long Term
The vast majority of the textbooks that you will need throughout your training will only be used for a single class. This is why people typically sell the books that they buy. However, you will also have textbooks that will be used over the long term and that may even be useful during your actual career. It is well worth it to go ahead and invest in books like these because you will turn to them again and again throughout your training and career.
3. Buy Used Nursing Textbooks
Whenever possible, search for used copies of the nursing textbooks that you need. If you know people who have taken the same courses as you, check with them to see if they have any that they can sell. Many college bookstores sell used textbooks as well, so check them out locally. However, also search online for used copies of the nursing textbooks that you need because there are many websites that are dedicated strictly to selling used college books. Take good care of the books that you use so that you can sell them later on to recoup some of your money.
4. Check Them Out from the Library
In rare instances, certain college textbooks may be available from local libraries. This is the time to take full advantage of interlibrary loan systems and the like. You are unlikely to find actual college nursing textbooks in the regular library, but your school library may have them. Also, many courses rely on books that aren't actually textbooks, and they can often be found in local libraries. The main drawback to this approach is that you will have to return the books and check them out again from time to time.
5. Rent Nursing Textbooks
Students don't often realize it, but many college textbooks can be rented rather than purchased. This is another option that is usually offered by local college bookstores, so start there. However, you can probably tap into a better variety and better prices by checking out online college textbook rental services. Always read the rental terms and conditions carefully. For example, you will be expected to keep the book in excellent condition, or you may have to buy it. Also, make sure that it wouldn't be cheaper to just buy and resell the book that you need before renting it.
6. Share Nursing Textbooks
If you are friends with someone who is completing the same program as you or who is taking at least a few of the same classes, you might consider sharing the nursing textbooks that you need for the semester. The main advantage here is that you each essentially pay half price for the books that you need. There are many drawbacks, however, including the fact that professors sometimes require you to have books with you in class and that you both may need the same book at the same time.
7. Buy Older Editions
Unless your professor specifically states that you need the most recent edition of a nursing textbook, you can probably get away with buying an older one. New edition textbooks tend to cost nearly 60 percent more than older editions, so you can save a bundle with this approach. The main problem with doing this is that you may struggle to find the right page in class if the books are too different. Also, some older editions really do have outdated information, and this may present a problem when studying for exams and the like.
8. Try eBooks
Finally, many nursing textbooks are also offered in eBook format. Generally speaking, eBooks tend to be cheaper than paper books. Many times, you can choose to either purchase or rent eBooks, so you typically have good flexibility. Before buying or renting a nursing college eBook, make sure that it will be easy to navigate. If you don't already have one, you will need to invest in an e-reader. There are also e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets.
There is usually no need to pay full price for nursing textbooks. With a little creativity and extra work, you can slash your college textbook budget considerably. Just remember that any books that you have to buy can most likely be sold later, so you'll be able to get some of your money back down the line.