Helpful Items to Purchase for Nursing School

  1. Earlier today I saw someone recommend that a student purchase a nursing diagnosis book. I have searched the forum and can't find a recommendation from the last couple years. Can someone please provide me with a few more details on what to look for in a proper book?

    Also, while I still have extra money available (that will certainly go away once I stop working so much), I'm trying to purchase some things that will benefit me later. I've seen "nurses watches" and know that I'll need a ton of pen lights, but what other generic type items can I purchase now that I will need in school or in clinical? What will I need and what can I just cross off the list now?

    As a side thought, I'm going to purchase a winter coat because where I live, it doesn't get very cold very long, but I've never had to walk outside more than about 50 feet. I'll be walking between buildings on campus and that cold is really gonna bite!!! I'm also going to set aside money for a new set of tires that I know I'll need during that 16 months as well.

    Thanks for the help!!
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  2. Visit hurricanekat profile page

    About hurricanekat

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 111; Likes: 126

    34 Comments

  3. by   mantidqueen1
    Compression socks are the best.
  4. by   hurricanekat
    Quote from mantidqueen1
    Compression socks are the best.
    You know - what kind? Someone in a shoe store told me this, so I purchased some short ones because I wait tables now. When I get off shift (usually 12ish hours) my legs above the socks are all puffy. Do I need to wear knee-high socks? I haven't been a knee high girl in a long time. I actually only wear flip flops or open toe sandals of some sort, so adjusting to socks and shoes again after not wearing them for 5 years is a little bit annoying. I know I don't have a choice, but are knee-highs the answer? Do you recommend a certain brand?
  5. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    You want knee high compression socks - they don't really move at all so I don't think you'll be spending a lot of time adjusting them. They aren't necessary, but they are helpful. Good shoes - you walk a lot not just in the hospital, but on campus too. The nursing diagnosis book that I use is: Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care, 1e: 97832385496: Medicine & Health Science Books @ Amazon.com

    You'll need a watch with a second hand, though I wear my FitBit and put my cheap watch in my pocket for when I need it. I got a two in one pen and penlight and that's worked really well for me. A stethoscope is something you'll need, too.

    For your coat, I'd make sure that your school doesn't have any rules about it. We're only supposed to wear black with our scrubs, and we wear our scrubs to class 3/4 days.

    You *may* want a small bottle of hand sanitizer, too. I don't have one, but I see a lot of people in my cohort with them.
  6. by   KrCmommy522
    Quote from ItsThatJenGirl
    You want knee high compression socks - they don't really move at all so I don't think you'll be spending a lot of time adjusting them. They aren't necessary, but they are helpful. Good shoes - you walk a lot not just in the hospital, but on campus too. The nursing diagnosis book that I use is: Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care, 1e: 97832385496: Medicine & Health Science Books @ Amazon.com

    You'll need a watch with a second hand, though I wear my FitBit and put my cheap watch in my pocket for when I need it. I got a two in one pen and penlight and that's worked really well for me. A stethoscope is something you'll need, too.

    For your coat, I'd make sure that your school doesn't have any rules about it. We're only supposed to wear black with our scrubs, and we wear our scrubs to class 3/4 days.

    You *may* want a small bottle of hand sanitizer, too. I don't have one, but I see a lot of people in my cohort with them.
    I agree with all of this! The best nursing diagnosis handbook I ever used was Ackley's Nursing Diagnosis Handbook. In the first part it has a little bit about diagnoses and the different types and how to put it together. Then it breaks down in alphabetical listing different medical diagnoses, so you can look up a patient's medical diagnosis and see what nursing diagnosis COULD fit (you will learn though that it isn't the medical diagnosis that is important, its the ASSESSMENT of your patient and that is what you go by, but it sometimes helps to see if your diagnoses that you came up with fit with that medical diagnosis or to give you some ideas). Then the other section of the book is all the nursing diagnoses, it lists things like related to factors, as evidenced by, outcomes, interventions, teaching, and discharge. When I first started nursing school and started care plans I wasted a TON of money on different nursing diagnoses books, but by far the best one and the only one I used after purchasing it was Ackley's Nursing Diagnosis Handbook!

    My school didn't have any rules about our coats. I've never heard of that! It's interesting! I would understand if you were wearing the coat other than to come in and out but not just to keep you warm coming in and going out. But, each school has their own dress code. Another thing you need to find out is if you can only wear certain color of shoes - we could only wear all white (no colors whatsoever on them!). But good shoes are important. You will be standing and walking around on them at clinicals, plus at your school, so you want them to be comfortable. I even bought Dr. Scholl's inserts for mine and was so glad I did!

    Knee-high compression socks are a great suggestion! I didn't wear them at first and when I first started 12 hr clinicals I would come home and my legs would be swollen and hurt for the next day or so. When I started wearing knee-high compression socks, I never had that issue again!

    Good luck!
  7. by   tnbutterfly
    Look in the allnurses Product Directory to shop for compressions socks.
  8. by   FSZ Student Nurse
    A clipboard for all your papers in clinical!

    I have one that flips opens up to put paper inside, but some people prefer clipboards that fold in half because then they can put it in their scrub pockets.
  9. by   FSZ Student Nurse
    Quote from hurricanekat
    I've seen "nurses watches" and know that I'll need a ton of pen lights, but what other generic type items can I purchase now that I will need in school or in clinical? What will I need and what can I just cross off the list now?
    Cross off "nurses watches". Those watches are often overpriced, and don't offer any special benefits. If you find an inexpensive nurse's watch, then go for it. Otherwise stick with a cheap watch.

    What to look for in a watch? Second hand. Clear numbers/markings so you can easily see where the hand is pointing (no stylized faces). Water resistant (if you need to wipe it down or it gets splashed). Also, be sure to check your school's rules regarding watch colors and styles.
  10. by   MotoMonkey
    I would focus on things that will make you more comfortable. Good shoes, backpack appropriate for what you will need to carry every day. As an example, I never carry textbooks so my backpack is just big enough to hold my laptop, a binder, some pens, and a water bottle. Good coat is a great idea, my school requires that we can only wear white vests over our scrubs, however if we are walking between buildings or classes it does not matter.

    Like others have said, there is nothing special about a "nursing watch." The watch I wear is digital and does not have a second hand, it just counts seconds, this has never been a problem for me. Though your school may have specific requirements for watches.
  11. by   Ioreth
    My favorite item is my White Coat clipboard Nursing Edition. It folds in half, so it is HIPAA compliant. My current clinical instructor does not allow us to carry anything in our hands while we are on the unit, so I use this because it fits nicely into my scrubs pocket. The information on the outside is very useful, but I have to be careful to show it to all instructors for lab checkoffs and simulations, because some don't allow this cheat sheet.
    Amazon.com : WhiteCoat Clipboard- Wine - Nursing Edition : Office Products

    It is also useful to have some kind of pouch for your pens. Think pocket protector. I carry a minimum of 1 black pen, 1 4-color pen, 1 sharpie, and my penlight. Our uniform is white top and bottom, so it keeps me from ruining the white scrubs with ink stains. At the end of the day, I also drop the whole pouch into a basket with the other things I keep in my pockets during clinicals, so it is ready to go again the next clinical day. Oh and alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer is great for getting pen stains out of white scrubs.

    I have a Bat Clip to keep my stethoscope on my waist. Right before I started nursing school, a PACU nurse told me about a patient who was confused and combative when coming out of anesthesia. This patient grabed her stethoscope which was hanging around her neck and tried to strangle her with it. This nurse friend bought me a bat clip when I got into nursing school so that I won't ever be in the habit of wearing my stethoscope on my neck. I love it, and it holds my stethoscope very securely.
    Amazon.com: The BATCLIP (black) - Premium leather handmade clip-on stethoscope hip holder; no more neck carrying, loss, or misplacement. Proudly carry your high-end stethoscope with taste and style.: Health & Personal Care

    I wear knee-high compression socks every day at clinicals and it makes a significant difference. Be sure to check your school's policy on color restrictions, if any.

    During Fundamentals (or whatever the first semester of nursing classes is called at your school), you may want to get an inexpensive pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff (at least manual, possibly also automatic), and a cheap temporal thermometer. The first semester at all the schools where I live are in nursing homes, and these items are often hard to find. It will be an immense time saver to have your own tools for vitals in your backpack. I also bought a very cheap glucometer to practice at home, but I do not recommend bringing this to clinicals since it may be against facility policy.

    This is my dorky suggestion, but hear me out. There have been problems with theft at every single one of the clinical sites I have attended so far, including nursing homes, long term care, rehab, acute care, and critical care. People know which bags belong to students and will go through them if given the opportunity. I don't carry anything of value in my backpack. I don't want to carry my wallet, phone, and car keys in my scrubs pockets where they could fall out or just take up space. Instead, I use a runner's belt under my scrubs to hold only these items. Everything is there against my body and secure.
    Amazon.com : SPIbelt: The Original No-Bounce Running Belt for Runners, Athletes and Adventurers (Black with Titanium Zipper) : Sports & Outdoors

    I have a pocket sized medication book that I sometimes carry. I used it much more in Fundamentals because our facility did not have drug books at the med carts. Hospitals will often have access to Micromedex, which you can use to look up drugs quickly, but sometimes computers are scarse and you need to know about an unfamilar drug right away. This is the smallest one I found:
    218 Lippincott Pocket Drug Guide for Nurses: Amy M. Karch MSN RN: 9781496371935: Amazon.com: Books

    Last but certainly not least, make an emergencies kit for your backpack. This is all stuff you'll want with you, but you will certainly not use every day. But when you need it, you'll be glad you've got it. My kit includes: Tide pen (food stains only), Shout wipes (great for non-food, non-pen stains), hair band and hairpins, pads and tampons, fingernail clippers and file, cough drops, ibuprofen, Tums, Benadryl, Dayquil, and Lidocaine patches. NONE of the medications are to be used on patients! I've only ever had to use the ibprofen for headaches and the Lidocaine patch for a pulled muscle. At my school, clinical days are a pain to make up a clinical day, so I do all I can to avoid that possibility.
    Last edit by Ioreth on Apr 18
  12. by   KrCmommy522
    I agree with loreth about the white coat clipboard. I got one my first semester in nursing school and have used it ever since. I LOVE it!! When I brought it to my first clinical my instructor loved how it folded in half and had the cheat sheets on it, next clinical she had one! It is so useful!

    I also agree with FSZ Student Nurse about the "nurse watches." You just need one with a second hand, clear easy to see numbers, and water proof.
  13. by   Shawn91111
    Quote from FSZ Student Nurse
    A clipboard for all your papers in clinical!

    I have one that flips opens up to put paper inside, but some people prefer clipboards that fold in half because then they can put it in their scrub pockets.
    Check with your instructors on this. I bought one during my first semester for clinical's and was chewed out by the instructor, as she said no one in the hospitals uses them, and they can carry bacteria etc on them. Meanwhile, every single RN I worked with this semester uses them.
  14. by   Neo Soldier
    Long sleeve compression shirt. Ebay has cheap ones. You may benefit from getting a size larger than your actual size. Also, UK medium is a US small. Costs about $9. May be cheaper during a sale.

    Foldable nursing clipboard. Ebay or amazon for like $30. These bad boys are so handy: I wish I got them earlier. I don't know where you get your nursing uniform but hopefully it fits in your pants pocket. It's slightly more convenient than a small pocket flipbook. Although the flipbooks are smaller and a bit more convenient on the go. Those pocket flipbooks go for 88 cents for a pack of four at walmart.

    Lippincott's manual of nursing practice. Great for your care plans. It also includes pathophysiology. There's a 10th edition
    Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice by Nettina MSN ANP-BC, Sandra M. 9781582553429 | eBay

    Lippincott's Q & A Review RN edition by Billings and Hensel. Has test questions with rationales. Some instructors may get their questions straight from this book.

    Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN. Test questions plus rationales

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