It might feel impossible to find ways to save money in nursing school because of the numerous expenses associated with getting a nursing degree. On top of that, few students find time to earn an income while in school, making them even more strapped for cash. Despite the odds against them, there are several tricks that students can use to save money on required nursing school items and extras.

1. Buy Used Nursing Textbooks

Buying used textbooks is possibly the best method of saving money in nursing school. Students spend hundreds of dollars or more on nursing textbooks, but many of them don’t realize that they don’t have to buy them from the school bookstore, where they pay full or inflated retail prices. Instead, they can use the ISBNs for the required course books to search for them online. In some cases, the digital version of a textbook is cheaper than a physical copy, so having a tablet or eReader can save money as well. Some sites even offer textbook rentals. Additionally, nursing students can ask registered nurses they know about borrowing their old textbooks.

2. Check the Prices of Nursing Uniforms Online

Nursing uniforms can be just as expensive as school textbooks, making them a very costly need for nursing students. There are also different styles of uniforms, which might push students toward buying from brick-and-mortar stores where they try on scrubs before they buy. Even when a local shop offers discounts for nurses in training, the markdowns probably aren’t as low as what students can find online. In most cases, internet stores sell scrubs for up to half the price of retailers. Students who are worried about buying the wrong size can go to a physical retail location to try on scrubs and then search for their size online.

3. Put Your Own Nursing Supply Kit Together

A supply kit for clinicals is a necessity for nursing students and includes items such as a blood pressure cuff, IV starters, a pen light, a stethoscope and other medical tools. Some school bookstores carry supply kits, but the price for the lab kit isn’t always worth the contents. Also, some schools require nursing students to purchase new kits for each semester. One great way to avoid paying too much is to look for each tool online and create a kit. Sometimes students can even get higher quality supplies this way. Another possible way to save money in nursing school is by borrowing a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff. Furthermore, some local scholarship funds provide nursing students with money to use toward supplies.

4. Minimize NCLEX Study Guide Purchases

A lot of nursing students buy several study guides for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Although studying for this exam is important, students don’t really need more than two to help them prepare for it. These guides should cover test taking strategies and practice questions. Another way to save money on these guides is to create a study group in which each member shares the cost of buying the books. Everyone in the group can use the material to study for the NCLEX. Additionally, being involved in a study group helps students learn faster, discover new study techniques and avoid procrastination.

5. Reduce Everyday Living Costs

In addition to buying cheaper or fewer supplies, students can save money in nursing school by reducing their everyday living costs. A majority of students eat out, whether it’s at the campus cafeteria, the hospital or a fast food joint. However, this is a costly habit, both on the wallet and the physique. Taking the time to make a sack lunch is cheaper and healthier, which benefits brain power. Nursing students can also save money by riding together and pitching in for gas. Carpooling also puts less wear and tear on their cars, reducing the overall frequency and cost of maintenance.

With a little bit of sacrifice and the ability to think outside the box, there are numerous ways for students to save money in nursing school. Nursing students are well-rewarded in the end with job stability and fair wages.

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