So you’ve finally decided to become a nurse. Congrats! Now it’s time to attend a college-level degree program, do clinical rotations and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You might not immediately think of that giant bag you’ll have to carry around with all the tools of your trade. Nevertheless, it’s extremely important! After all, preparation is key to becoming a healthcare professional, and a little prep that can take you a long way!
Whether training in the classroom or at a clinical location, you’ll need to pack for success. So, grab your tote or rolling backpack (or start ordering one now), and get packing with our ultimate nursing equipment list.
Be prepared to succeed!
A part of your job as a student nurse is to expect the unexpected. Your line of work is unpredictable, and that’s what makes it fun and interesting. It’s also the reason it’s better to be overprepared. When it comes to the things you need for nursing clinicals, not only do you have to be prepared, but you should also have all your tools within easy reach. First things first: Make sure you have a nursing bag, backpack, or fanny pack (yep, they’re cool again!) to accompany you on your journey.
The ultimate student nurse essentials
Gathering everything you need for your time as a student nurse might seem stressful, but we like to think of making a shopping list as quite fun. Plus, it gets you in the mindset to succeed, which is where you exactly need to be. If you’re looking for a starting point, here’s a list of nursing school supplies you should carry:
- Nursing student planner: Staying organized is essential to any nursing career. Whether you’re a student planning out your studies, classes, and clinicals or a registered nurse (RN) making rounds and administering medication at certain times of day, you’re on a tight schedule. Never miss a thing by organizing your day in a planner.
- Note-taking supplies: You’ll need plenty of writing implements and paper products for your studies in the classroom and at home. Pens are great for note-taking, but highlighters in different colors can help you color code important facts you need to emphasize while revising before your midterms. A Sharpie, sticky notes, and flashcards will also make drilling facts for the NCLEX a lot easier. You can also consider buying a voice recorder to listen back to lectures later and supplement your notes with anything you may have missed. For some, writing by hand in a notebook helps the mind retain facts, but a more techy note-taking option like an iPad or Android tablet wouldn’t hurt either.
- Compression socks: Compression gear helps keep you comfortable and prevent common ailments, like swollen feet and ankles and back pain. Don’t just stop at compression socks. Pick up some compression leggings or shorts to go under your scrubs, and finish your look with comfortable nursing shoes or sneakers.
- Quality scrubs: Workwear doesn’t just look professional; it has a job to do. Pick up high-quality, performance scrubs that wick sweat and move with you. A fabric with an antimicrobial finish works perfectly. Remember that scrubs protect you from pathogens, ensure you can move safely around the hospital, and prevent you from feeling uncomfortably hot or cold, so an investment in the right workwear is well worth it. You know who to turn to, right? (Spoiler alert: It’s us!)
- Stethoscope: All nurses need a stethoscope to listen to heart, circulatory, and lung sounds, so even if you’re a student, consider getting a high-quality one now; it’ll help you even when you officially become a nurse. Nowadays, stethoscopes come in stylish colors like rose gold, allowing you to style unique looks with your fashionable scrubs as you would with any other accessory.
- A pen light: Just like your stethoscope, a pen light will follow you long into your career as a nurse. It’s great for examining patients and finding items in a hurry in dark spaces.
- A water bottle: Healthcare professionals are practically athletes, with the amount of standing, walking, and running they do in a day on the job. This means they’re apt to get dehydrated. Be sure to have a reusable water bottle you can take into the hospital (which can also be a notoriously dry environment) to keep your body hydrated. Consider getting a durable stainless steel one printed with your favorite inspirational or funny nursing quote.
- Hand sanitizer: As a nurse, you’ll be washing hands a lot; you don’t want cross-contamination of germs between you and your patients. So, it’s wise to carry your own antibacterial gel to your workplace. That way, you can get cleaned up quickly and easily.
- Medical shears: A sharp pair of scissors will help you cut through everything from tubes to bandages. You’ll need to quickly work while treating wounds and inserting IVs, so be sure to keep a pair of designated medical shears handy, always.
- Reference guides: Can’t remember every drug interaction off the top of your head? That’s okay; you’re only human! Carry pharmacology guides and other useful texts, like nursing cheat sheets, with you during the day. You can even download study guides and medical terminology apps.
Things to study before nursing school
We know you’ll be studying hard at nursing school, but there’s a bit of work you should get out of the way even before you start. That’s right. New nurses should hit the books before they really hit the books by brushing up on the following hard and soft skills. These soft skills may require soul-searching instead of time with your favorite medical textbooks.
- Acid/base balance
- Dimensional analysis
- Endocrine system and feedback loops
- Critical thinking
- Ability to work under pressure
Nail your prep by considering our nursing school supplies list, and have a splendid first day at school. And, if you’re about to become a nurse, you’re also about to spend a lot of time in your scrubs. As we know scrubs, you can trust us! Come to us for some of the highest-quality, most comfortable performance workwear around, and check this essential off your list. You can also get a student discount. We wish you the best for your nursing education!