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OER Textbooks for Nursing Programs

We have partnered with Open RN to help college nursing programs and their students access high-quality customizable OER textbooks.

The Open RN textbooks will always be free in digital formats, and low-cost in print (paperback, full-color).

The OER Nursing textbooks are written based on the State Nursing curriculum established by the Wisconsin Technical College System, and include:

  • Nursing Pharmacology (Available now!)
  • Nursing Skills (Available June 2021)
  • Nursing Fundamentals (Available fall 2021)
  • Nursing: Mental Health & Community Concepts (Available summer 2022)
  • Nursing: Management & Professional Concepts (Available summer 2022)

* Congratulations to the Open RN team for being awarded a 2020 Open Textbook Award!  The Open Textbook award recognizes an openly licensed textbook of exemplary quality in its presentation of educational content; allowing for easy access, sharing and adaptation. More here.

Nursing Pharmacology course-in-a-box (digital courseware)

Introducing XanEdu FlexEd - affordable courseware for Open RN textbooks

See the Course Features for FlexEd: Nursing Pharmacology

FlexEd is affordable courseware that builds on the high quality, free content from Open RN to keep costs low for students. As a complete course-in-a-box, FlexEd provides everything from lecture slides to assessments, study aids, and case studies, all integrated with any LMS.




Key items that distinguish Open RN textbooks from other commercial nursing textbooks

  1. Open RN textbooks are completely aligned with WTCS Nursing Curriculum and Nursing courses (for WTCS colleges).
  2. Content is aligned with NCLEX Test Plans (for all nursing programs) and is leveled for entry-level nursing students.
  3. The Pharmacology textbook has been reviewed by over 30 national reviewers from 2- and 4-year nursing programs and revisions made based on their feedback.
  4. Textbooks are based on evidence-based practice with footnotes provided to sources within the chapters. Digital literacy is promoted by providing hyperlinks to reputable sources.
  5. Textbooks are written in plain language to promote student success.
  6. Active learning activities are incorporated in the e-book that range from flashcards to patient scenarios that encourage the development of clinical judgment and provide feedback.
  7. Critical thinking questions and learning activities are included as formative assessments with answer keys provided in the back of the book that do not require internet access.
  8. Learning outcomes will be collected across WTCS nursing course sections beginning in Fall 2020 and will compare student success rates in courses using the OER textbook(s) to those not using OER.



Nursing Pharmacology Available Now!

ISBN: 978-1-73491-411-5

Order printed copies (paperback, softcover full-color)

Suggested Retail: $43.93/copy




More about the Open RN nursing program OER textbooks

Free digital books + low-cost in print

The Open RN textbooks will always be free in digital formats, and low-cost in print (paperback, full-color). Affordable print versions will be available through XanEdu in college bookstores and on Amazon.

More about Open RN

OER: Share and share alike

As Open Educational Resources (OER) the textbooks are designed to be shared with other nursing programs in other states. The content can freely be "remixed" by faculty and aligned to every colleges' curriculum and state requirements. 

Write to us at OERSolutions@xanedu.com to discuss how we can help your nursing program access and customize these new OER nursing course materials.

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About Open RN

The Open RN project is funded by a $2.5 million dollar grant from the Department of Education to create 5 OER Nursing Textbooks with 25 associated virtual reality scenarios.

The project is led by Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the textbooks are being collaboratively written with faculty from Wisconsin technical colleges. The books will be reviewed by statewide nursing faculty, deans, healthcare alliance members, and other industry representatives to ensure the content is current and accurate.

Other states and colleges are encouraged to adopt and customize these books for their specific requirements, to save students money re-purposing the high-quality Open RN base materials.


Why Open RN?

Textbook costs have skyrocketed over the past decade, as much 88% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, causing decreased accessibility by students who elect to not purchase the textbook or use an older edition. It can also take several years for textbook editions to be updated with current, evidence based practice.

Open RN textbooks will be able to easily be updated as new evidence based practices occurs. The Open RN textbooks also contain active learning activities to assist students in learning challenging concepts and applying them to patient care in a manner in which they will be tested with the new NCLEX Next Generation test questions.

The estimated maximum impact of this project for nursing students in Wisconsin Technical College Nursing programs is $1.5 million dollars annually in textbook savings. Other nursing programs across the country will also be able to easily “remix” the textbook content to customize their own content, which will lead to even more cost savings nationally.

Open RN Textbook Details

Nursing Pharmacology (available now)


ISBN: 978-1-73491-411-5

Available Now!


Order print copies (paperback, softcover full-color) Suggested retail: $43.93 each



'Nursing Pharmacology' introduces the principles of pharmacology, including drug classifications and their effects on the body. Emphasis is on the use of the components of the nursing process when administering medications.


1. Apply basic pharmacology principles to medication management
2. Examine legal, ethical, social, and cultural issues related to medication administration
3. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of antimicrobial drugs
4. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of central nervous system drugs
5. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of analgesic and musculoskeletal system drugs
6. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of autonomic nervous system
7. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of respiratory system drugs
8. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of cardiovascular and renal
systems drugs
9. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of gastrointestinal system drugs
10. Apply components of the nursing process to the administration of endocrine system drugs

Nursing Fundamentals (available spring 2021)


ISBN: 978-1-73491-415-3

Date available: Summer 2021


'Nursing Fundamentals' focuses on basic nursing concepts to provide evidence-based care to diverse patient populations across the lifespan. Current and historical issues impacting nursing will be explored within the scope of nursing practice. The nursing process will be introduced as a framework for organizing the care of patients


1. Differentiate scopes of practice within the nursing profession
2. Maintain a safe, effective care environment for adults of all ages
3. Use appropriate communication techniques
4. Use the nursing process
5. Adapt nursing practice to meet the needs of diverse patients in a variety of settings
6. Provide nursing care for patients with sleep/rest/mobility alterations
7. Provide nursing care for patients with comfort alterations
8. Provide nursing care for patients with nutritional, fluid, and electrolytes disturbances
9. Provide nursing care for patients with commonly occurring alterations in elimination patterns
10. Provide nursing care for patients with integumentary disorders
11. Provide nursing care for patients with infection
12. Provide nursing care for patients with cognitive and sensory impairments
13. Provide nursing care for patients and families experiencing grief and loss
14. Provide nursing care for patients with alterations in oxygenation

Nursing Skills (available summer 2021)


ISBN: 978-1-73491-413-9

Available: Summer 2021


'Nursing Skills' focuses on the development of evidence-based clinical skills and physical assessment across the lifespan. Content includes mathematical calculations and conversions related to clinical skills. In addition the course includes techniques related to obtaining a health history and basic physical assessment skills using a body systems approach.


1. Use aseptic technique
2. Perform mathematical calculations related to clinical practice
3. Measure blood pressure and other vital signs
4. Obtain a health history
5. Perform a general survey assessment
6. Perform a head/neck assessment
7. Perform a basic eye/ear assessment
8. Perform a basic neurological assessment
9. Perform a musculoskeletal assessment
10. Perform an integumentary assessment
11. Provide wound care
12. Perform a basic cardiovascular assessment
13. Perform a basic respiratory assessment
14. Manage oxygen therapy
15. Perform tracheostomy care and suctioning procedures (oral, nasal, pharyngeal, and
16. Perform an abdominal assessment
17. Demonstrate specimen collection procedures
18. Administer medications via the enteral route (oral)
19. Administer medications via topical, transdermal, eye, ear, inhalation, rectal and vaginal routes
20. Maintain enteral tubes (feeding, irrigation, suction, medication administration)
21. Administer medications via the parenteral routes (Intradermal/Subcutaneous/Intramuscular)
22. Manage intravenous therapy
23. Facilitate alternative methods of elimination (urinary and bowel)

Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts (summer 2022)


ISBN: 978-1-73491-417-7

Available: Summer 2022


'Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts' covers topics related to the delivery of community and mental health care. Specific health needs of individuals, families, and groups will be addressed across the lifespan. Attention will be given to diverse and at-risk populations. Mental health concepts will concentrate on adaptive/ maladaptive behaviors and specific mental health disorders. Community resources will be examined in relation to specific types of support offered to racial, ethnic, economically diverse individuals and groups.


1. Assess a community including the relationships among individuals, groups, and health
2. Manage nursing care for the health needs for the community (including vulnerable populations
such as disabled, homeless, mentally ill, elderly, teens, chronically ill, culturally diverse)
3. Analyze the role of the nurse in providing safe care related to environmental hazards and
emergency preparedness
4. Analyze concepts of mental health nursing
5. Manage care for patients experiencing anxiety disorders
6. Manage care for patients experiencing mood disorders
7. Manage care for patients experiencing personality disorders
8. Manage care for patients experiencing thought disorders
9. Manage care for patients with mental health disorders of childhood and adolescence
10. Manage care for patients experiencing substance abuse
11. Manage care for patients and families experiencing domestic violence
12. Manage care for patients experiencing eating disorders

Nursing: Management and Professional Concepts (summer 2022)


ISBN: 978-1-73491-419-1

AvailableSummer 2022


'Nursing: Management and Professional Concepts' covers nursing management and professional issues related to the role of the registered nurse. Emphasis is placed on preparing for practice as a registered nurse.


1. Apply principles of prioritization when evaluating nursing care in complex situations
2. Apply principles of delegation and supervision when evaluating nursing care
3. Collaborate with multidisciplinary team members to plan care
4. Examine the impact of economics on health care
5. Compare mechanisms of achieving quality patient care through evidence based practice
6. Analyze ethical dilemmas in health care
7. Analyze legal implications of nursing practice in healthcare
8. Prepare for the RN role
9. Advocate for the nursing profession through political action and involvement in professional
10. Manage a nursing team

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Contact us to learn more about OpenRN

If you have questions on the above OpenRN textbooks or how you can adopt and re-use these OER textbooks for your nursing program, XanEdu is here to help! Either fill out the form on this page or write to us at OERSolutions@xanedu.com and a representative will be in touch (with no obligation) to discuss your program's needs, We look forward to hearing from you!


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