When I was in school, we used the "squeaky wheels" strategy. The squeakier (is that a word?) the wheels got, the more change came about. We too were "instructed" to get the kit from the bookstore. I bought the kit, and had the same problem with the instruments that you mention, so I took my own to lab class and clinicals. My reasons, although I was never approached (others were), was that there was nothing printed in our nursing handbook that mandated we use the school kits, so this is my choice, and I wanted to do my best. For me to do my best, I need better equipment...you get what you pay for. Fortunately we had many students in our class that had the same beliefs, so we had our way.
There is strength in numbers!
We also changed our attire for hospital clinicals. The director at the time wanted us to wear a certain style of scrub shirt. Of course several, rather most of our class, had their own opinions on the style they would like to wear. Again, there was no printed mandated rule, several students had already bought the required "color, " and were not about to head back to the store or return to the internet. Wala! Wear what you have already purchased. The excuse thing does work too
While I'm at it
we had our grade scale changed too! This happened after our class graduated, but hooray for those behind us!!!! We agreed that the minimum standard should be higher, however, those that attained higher grades should not be penalized because they already met higher standards with higher grades.
Speak up, especially in greater numbers and have your rationale, whatever it may be, to make the change happen!!
Good luck and let us know what happens