You’ve made the big decision to train as a nurse, and now you’re wondering how you can save money in nursing school. Given the large investment of money, time and effort you’ll be making over the next few years, it’s a great idea to find ways to keep your budget balanced during what can sometimes be a lean time financially.

Financial Challenges During Your College Years

Nursing students face similar financial challenges during their academic years as college students everywhere, primarily because it can be difficult to both work and attend classes regularly. If you’re a non-traditionally aged student, you may be juggling home and family commitments along with classes and the need to work to supplement your income. Even if you head into nursing school straight out of high school, however, you’ll likely face challenges related to covering your schooling expenses. Like other college degrees, a nursing degree will involve tuition and living expenses (on or off campus) that will include lodging and board, transportation and books.

Specific Nursing School Expenses

Besides all of those traditional college costs, nursing students also face some expenses specific to nursing school. These may include the need to purchase uniforms and clinical supplies, such as a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope. You will also encounter licensing and testing fees, and you may need to invest in some test preparation materials for the national licensing exam (a test all nurses have to pass in order to practice). While all of these costs can definitely add up, there are some tips that you can use to try to cut some of the costs involved in your training years.

Money Saving Tips

One of the top tips for saving money is to try to buy your nursing textbooks used. Since textbooks can be very expensive, finding them used can result in huge savings. If you don’t mind reading and studying from e-books, you might also benefit from investing in an e-reader. This may allow you to download large textbooks at a lower cost than traditional print textbooks. Although some nursing schools supply kits of clinical supplies to their students, sometimes you can get a better deal purchasing the supplies in the kit individually online or from other vendors. The same can be said for uniforms, which you can often find and purchase at a discount.

It is also a good idea to look into scholarships. If you are a working RN going back to get your BSN, your employer may provide tuition reimbursement for your classes. If you are a working student with children, you might also be able to find financial assistance for daycare costs.
Please also see: What Kind of Scholarships are Available For Nursing Students?

Other money saving ideas are similar to those for any college student. Sharing living expenses with a roommate, limiting money spent on restaurants and cafeterias and utilizing public transportation or ridesharing are all smart ideas. Many of these suggestions involve good plain common sense, which is something you’ll need a lot of in your nursing career. Put that common sense to good use now and you’ll find plenty of ways to save money in nursing school.