Skip to main content
Carrington College Blog

3 nursing books you should keep after you graduate

September 3, 2013

Keep these books after nursing school.After earning your degree in practical or vocational nursing, you’re probably just about ready to ditch your textbooks forever. However, there are a few that will continue to serve you well as you begin your nursing career. It’s a good idea to purchase updated copies every five years1because procedures and standards of care change fairly regularly, but these nursing school standbys will serve you well:

Drug handbook

This reference guide about generic and trade drugs includes practical information that all nurses need to know. The most recent edition – for 2014 – has complete monographs for more than 900 generic drugs and nearly 3,000 trade drugs. Each entry contains a variety of helpful information, including both generic and trade names, pronunciations, dosages, administration, adverse reactions and patient teaching. This is one book you’ll want to hold on to and update regularly.

Anatomy and physiology

No matter what version of this textbook you currently own, it will be something that you continually reference throughout your career. This is one book that you probably won’t have to update regularly because our understanding of human anatomy remains fairly consistent. Having your anatomy and physiology book on-hand will be helpful if you ever need to refresh your memory on basic functions of the human body.

Medical dictionary

While you may be able to find much of the information you need online, sometimes it’s simply easier to look up a term in your own medical dictionary than trolling the Internet in search of a reliable answer. “Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions” continues to be a popular medical dictionary among nurses.

Med-Surg textbook

This guide to providing optimal patient care will serve you well throughout your nursing career. Reference it on occasion to re-solidify the foundational knowledge you learned in school and refresh your memory on the core concepts of nursing.

1 Ellis, Jessica, Scrubs magazine, ‘Spring cleaning for nurses: What NOT to keep from nursing school,’ March 25, 2013 –
2 Scrubs magazine, ‘The 10 nursing school books your should never throw away,’ April 22, 2013 –

Request Information

Step 1 of 2

* Required Field