Top Books For First Year Nursing Students

Now I wish this time last year when I had just started my first year someone had written a post like this with some top picks on books for first year nursing students. 

One thing I will say is don't think you have to get yourself all the books on your recommended reading list, let your university library become your best friend it will save you so much money. Before I buy any books with the exception of my physiology book I checked them out in the library beforehand, you will find some books you may think you can get away with just lending them but your popular rentals I would recommend checking out how much it is to buy as it can get quite annoying when there are only 4/5 of a certain book and everyone in your cohort is using and borrowing it meaning you might not always have it to hand when you need it!

My top two first picks for books that I would definitely recommend for first years are a physiology book and a medical dictionary.

If you go on Amazon you will find a ton of physiology books of varying prices but you can also get physiology books that are especially for nursing students. Now dependant on your university depends what book they recommend for this and how often you do a module in the topic, for instance my university only has us completing physiology modules for our first year which aspects of it in other modules throughout our three years however I know that another university local to mine get their students to complete physiology modules throughout all three years, so it is completely up to you if you want to spend a little bit more on your physiology textbook. I got the Totora Anatomy & Physiology textbook from Amazon for about £45/50 and it still comes in handy in my second year if I'm unsure of something or I want to see how certain conditions affect the body I can go back on my physiology and refresh my memory.

Next I would recommend that it if you only buy two books you also get a medical dictionary, you can just a general medical one or a more specific nursing one. These help some much when you are reading nursing textbooks and journals for when you come across any words you're unsure of!

This next one is a biggie...cite them right is a book that just completely answers every question you could possibly have on the Harvard referencing system this is so helpful at refining your referencing as in my second year they become a lot stricter about how you reference and you can actually get penalised for getting something wrong. This book covers pretty much anything you need to reference from good old books and journals even to medical images and powerpoint presentations. Again most universities will have this in their library but our lecturers strongly recommended buying it and I still use it for every assignment and essay!

This is one book that I really need to buy as I am borrowing it out from the library with every assignment! I find this so useful for writing assignments as it looks at the theory of planning a patient's care and I seem to mention it on every single assignment as it features the models of care and how to relate them to clinical practice. It also then reinforces this by giving you patient scenarios to make it easier to relate and understand and it puts your knowledge to the test by asking you questions on the scenarios.

Now this one is a can't have a post about key books for first year nursing students without mentioning the Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. As you are probably well aware this book is amazing as it features all aspects of a patient's care journey right through to how you perform certain medical tasks with the rationale behind each of these tasks, it also features the legal aspects of nursing care. Before I started my nursing degree a nursing student told me to get this and I would use it for every assignment and she was so right! I use this in every assignment and I read up on skills we've learnt in lecture, it's one of those books that no matter where you are in your career you can always look back to.

This one is a top pick but probably more essential as you come up to placement, it's useful to get some sort of drug guide or British National Formulary (BNF). I know the first thing you probably won't want to do not long after you started your first year is start learning your drugs but the sooner you start learning them it becomes easier, I will be writing more about learning drugs in a future post as I am waiting for a certain aspect of it to be finished before I castart writing the post. Now even if you're only learning one drug a week by the time you start your second year you will have learnt 52 drugs, so at the end of your 3 years you could potentially know nearly 160 drugs by easily fitting in one drug a week and once you learn the groups of drugs it becomes easier to learn the drugs!

Are there any books you thought were amazing in your first year?  

Danielle Levy

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