This post has one purpose – to help you save money in nursing school! There are many expenses associated with attending nursing school. Some of these include textbooks, uniforms, clinical supplies, meal, testing and licensing fees, transportation costs, and general living expenses. If you combine this with the fact that often a nursing school schedule leaves little time to work and earn income, your budget can become quite stretched during your years of nursing education.
Thankfully there are many ways that you can save money while going to nursing school. Not only can you save money on the books and supplies you will need for your education, but also on other necessities and living expenses that you might not have thought of that are involved with your nursing education. Below you’ll find some useful resources to help you save money while getting your nursing education.
How to Save Money in Nursing School
This guide will walk you through each way to save on all the things that cost you money in nursing school. When you save a little bit here and there, it can really add up.
How to Save Money on Nursing Textbooks
If you read and follow no other instructions on this list, please, I beg you, read AND follow this one. Textbooks usually cost students hundreds (and sometimes even thousands) of dollars. This one tip could really help you save money in nursing school.
Do NOT buy your textbooks from your college bookstore!
You are going to pay full retail, and sometimes even an inflated retail. If there is a special bundle that your store has, ask your instructors if you really need this package. You can easily find out the ISBN numbers of the books required for your courses and go online to purchase them and save yourself hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
You can even rent your textbooks from places like:
- Amazon Textbook Rental
- Bookbyte.com – serving students with discounted textbooks nationwide.
- BooksRun.com – you can buy and sell used textbooks here for cheap.
How to Save Money on Nursing Uniforms
Even though your school has already worked out “a deal” with the local mom and pop scrub shop down the street from the school on your uniforms, see if you can get the styles of the uniform you need and check the prices online. Often you can save up to 50% by buying your nursing school uniforms online. This holds true for your scrubs after you get out of school as well.
Some great places to check for discount nursing school uniforms and scrubs are:
Save Money on Nursing Clinical Supplies
Your school may have a supply a kit in the bookstore, but be sure the check what you get for the money. Often you can piece your own kit together for much less and get much higher quality items.
Some places to look online for your clinical supplies are:
Other Place To Cut Costs in Nursing School
Those are all the most obvious ways to save on the biggest expenses. But what about some other way to save a few pennies? Don’t forget about saving money on these common costs too.
1. Brown Bag your Lunch!
Eating out every day is not only bad on your wallet it’s awful on your figure. It may take a few more minutes of planning and preparation in the morning, but your sack lunch will likely be much cheaper than the hospital or campus cafeteria, and much better on your frame too! This one is one of the ones I struggled with during nursing school. It was such a social event to grab lunch at least once a week.
I did the math, and I spend hundreds of dollars a semester on this. Yikes! Brown-bagging it is one of the top ways to save money during nursing school.
2. Car Pool
Depending on the size of your nursing class, and the length of your commute, this could save you a ton of money over your time in nursing school. It will always likely help you make friends and study partners. With the cost of gasoline at over $3 per gallon, this is a chunk of change you’ll want to keep. Not only will you save on gas, but also on automobile maintenance because you’ll be racking up fewer miles.
Here’s the thing about carpooling: You have to ASK your classmates! I didn’t find out until a month before nursing school was over that a classmate who sat 2 rows back from me lived 4 houses away from me! I could kick myself for all the money we both wasted by not riding together.
3. Don’t Buy A Million NCLEX Books
I cannot even begin to tell you how many students bought 2-4 different NCLEX study guides. As if after 2 years of nursing course work, they really thought that 100 pages and cramming were going to be the difference between working as a nurse and not. The NCLEX is one of those things that you can’t cram for. It’s about the way you think and knowledge that has taken you years to acquire.
My advice is to buy 2 NCLEX study books max. One that is overall NCLEX test-taking strategies and another with practice questions.
I passed the NCLEX with 75 questions, on the first attempt. The 2 I used, and thought were very helpful, were:
- NCLEX-RN® Questions & Answers Made Incredibly Easy! , 5e (Incredibly Easy! Series)
- Saunders Strategies for Test Success: Passing Nursing School and the NCLEX Exam (Saunders Strategies for Success for the NCLEX-RN Examination) – This book you should buy before you start nursing school. Had I read it before, I strongly feel that I would have had done much better on my tests in nursing school.
A little penny-pinching and sacrifice, while you’re in school, will be well rewarded in the end. While you may not strike it rich as a nurse, the wages are generally pretty fair, and the job stability is better than many other careers. Why not start off the path to wealth early, and save money in nursing school?
Good luck in school and please be sure to share your tips here with other student nurses on how to save money in nursing school.
What tips do you have to save money while in nursing school?
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