So when I first started nursing school I cannot even express to anyone the number of times I googled, amazon searched, asked around, and googled again the supplies I needed for my first semester of nursing school. First off, we have established that nursing school is nothing like any other schooling ever done, so why would the supplies be the same as other college classes, right? Don’t worry, I am going to give you my simple Go-To list of things I bought for my first semester of nursing school, outside of what was required for us to have (Scrubs, stethoscope, pen light, and black shoes).
1. Colored Pens
I like colored pens because they help me keep things more organized. In note taking colored pens help breakdown important information and help to highlight things that are most important. I also use my colored pens in my planner to help me organize due dates, appointments, class schedules, blah blah blah. My personal favorite pens are the papermate inkjoy retractable gel pens.
You can literally find these pens anywhere, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen, Amazon, you name it.
Okay, this one was super important for me. I use highlighters for everything still. I highlight all over my book, my notes, my hand written notes, my SBAR, EVERYTHING!!!! Highlighters are so important in making information really stand out to the eye. I am not picky on my highlighter brand. Recently I have been buying the sharpie brand, whatever the store has. I go through so many sharpies in a month it isn’t even funny (might want to buy stock in these). Again, highlighters can be found anywhere just like the pens.
3. 2″-3″ Three ring binder
Yes, you want a big one! One of two things will happen, you will either be given a lot of hand outs/print a lot of stuff, or you will take so many notes. This is a perfect place to keep all of your notes and papers together. The bigger the binder the more you can fit in it (DUH). I personally like ones with pockets on the inside to store things I need to hole punch or put in clear pages and store away in the binder. I also like the binders with clear pockets in the front so I can put custom things in the front. I have 5 nieces and one of them likes to draw me things, this is something that helps me smile through school when I see them. Find a binder that makes you happy to see, but is also functional.
This is super important in nursing school. Your schedule changes so rapidly in school that it can be really hard to keep up with. Having a planner saved my life. I started with just a boring planner from Wal-Mart. The cheapest thing I could find, just enough I could write every assignment and due date down in. Now days I use an Erin Condren planner and LOVE IT SO MUCH! Now, I’m not saying they are a must have, or go out and spend $60 on a planner like I did just because it is pretty. An Erin Condren is not a must have, but a planner is a must have! GET A PLANNER, GET SOMETHING FUNCTIONAL! If you want something pretty that doesn’t cost as much as I chose to spend, go to a Michael’s and see the planners they have, and if you don’t care, just go to Walmart, no one cares what your planner looks like!
Now, this I will leave to you how you want to buy it. I use notebooks. But I know a lot of people who use loose leaf paper, some people use graft paper. I just like my notebook paper, a lot. I think it is easiest for me to keep my notes together this way. I paper clip my pages together per unit, and I have no chance of them falling out-of-order when I drop everything (because it will happen).
7. Small Calculate
This one might sounds crazy, but remember your instructors are expecting you to do some denominational analysis, and dosage calculations. If your school is anything like mine, your cell phone is an automatic GOODBYE for the day! I got mine at Wal-Mart for a dollar! It is cute, functional, small, and works!
8. A Clipboard with storage
This is really important for clinical. I use this EVERY CLINICAL! I keep my extra SBARs in here, my pens, my pen light, my highlighter, my calculator, extra paper for notes, and a pencil. Here is the cool thing about these clipboards, you can get a plain one at Wal-Mart for a good $4 or so (depending where you live), or you can get on amazon and get one that has many nursing references on the back (my favorite!) I paid $20 for mine on amazon 2 years ago, but they go on sale sometimes too.
This is the one I have with references
But I also have this one with no references.
Both are very useful, and I highly suggest getting one for school, because it has been a HUGE life saver!
I hope this helps,
Your fourth semester nursing student.