I know summer vacation just started not too long ago for those of you still in school. It’s sad but it’s flying by quicker than I want to accept and I don’t even get a summer vacation anymore. When I was in school July and August were always my favorite times of the year for one simple reason..back to school shopping!! I don’t know what it was about getting new school supplies but it always brought a smile to my face. I get so excited about it to the point where I want to go to Target just to go up and down the school supplies aisles and buy things I really don’t need. Since I’m restraining myself from that (for now) I figured I’d shed some light on those nursing students and some of the essential things that they’ll need going into the school year.

  1. Stethoscope: this might seem like a no brainer but you’ll be surprised how many people forget to bring one. When I started nursing school we used our stethoscope day one in the skills lab. From that moment on it was never off my person whether it was around my neck or in my scrub pants pocket. Invest in one, bring it, love it. It’s that simple.
  2. Pens, pens, pens: and more pens. You’re going to be taking notes on everything. Whether it’s in class, in the skills lab, or during clinical while you’re watching a procedure you’re going to be taking notes. Even as an RN I have an over abundance of pens. I’m always letting patients borrow them, losing them, having them stolen, etc. Make sure you stockpile and never be without.
  3. Quality shoes: trust me on this one. During clinical you’re going to be on your feet for long hours running around like a crazy person trying to see as much as you can. Your school probably makes you wear all white shoes but you’re going to want to purchase a pair that is going to last you and spare your feet. Everyone thinks Dansko is the best brand but quite frankly I think they’re beyond uncomfortable as well as ugly. My advice? Buy a nice pair of sneakers, you’ll thank me later.
  4. Big bag: either a backpack or a tote bag. Something that’s not going to kill your back or shoulders from carrying all your stuff. You’re going to have books, notebooks, all your clinical stuff, laptop, etc. Save your back and invest in a decent bag that won’t fall apart half way through the semester.
  5. Planner: it will be your best friend. Everyone who has gone through nursing school will tell you that you’ll be the most busy you’ve ever been in your entire life. Think that senior year of high school was a lot with college app deadlines, tests, homework, and a social life? Nursing school is 100x worse. All through college I used a basic five star planner where I was able to write down all my assignments, due dates, test dates, clinical schedules, and what little social life I had. There are hundreds of different planners for you to choose from based on what best meets your needs. I recently invested in my first Erin Condren Life Planner and am completely obsessed (my next post is going to be a review of it and how I use it). It was a decent chunk of change but it’s worth it for where I am right now in life. Find what works for you and use it!

That’s just the most important things I can think of. You obviously need notebooks, binders, your regular school supply stuff. I wouldn’t worry about getting a pulse ox, blood pressure cuff (unless you have people you can practice on), or thermometer. Whenever your clinical placements are are going to have these items for you to use. You’re going to invest a lot of money on extra stuff in nursing school. Save yourself some cash and purchase the essentials. Over the 2-4 years you’re a nursing student it’ll get easier to figure out what you need and what you don’t. Trust your gut and when all else fails, ask you’re friendly new grad nurse 🙂