Nursing Students General Students


I know there are threads about this but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm trying to figure out how many binders I need to buy for first semester and what sizes?

Specializes in Geriatrics.

Everyone has their own style and preferences, so you'll eventually pick up your own ideas. Personally I had a 2" binder per semester, and an extra one for Pharmacology. Each binder was tabbed with hand-outs, PPPs, and notes separated by exams. For instance, I had a tab with everything I had to study off of for exam #1 in chronological order. This way I knew if I had a question on a subject and it was covered on say 8/23 and first exam content, I'd know where to look.

I used this throughout nursing school, and just purchased a new binder for each semester so that I would be able to keep all the information in case I needed to refer to it later. You'd be surprised at how useful it can be to go back over a break and reinforce information.

I have 2-2inch and 2-3inch. I'll start with the 2 inch (these are gently used from a previous NS) and see if I need to upgrade to the bigger ones. I have several packs of tabbed dividers and loose leaf paper too. :)

I use one 1" binder per exam. Buy them at Walmart right before school starts for around $1 a peice. Label them and keep them for reference.

Specializes in Med/Surg/ICU/Stepdown.

Honestly, it depends on how your program is organized.

I bought a 1 1/2" binder that I kept the current unit in while we were covering it in lecture and I had a separate 3" binder that I kept at home for moving material into after we'd finished it in lecture. I did this because it gave me an organized place to keep my current notes for transporting to and from school in addition to an organized place to keep all of my notes from the semester to study for the cumulative final. By the time I graduate, I'll have four 3" binders with material from my last two years with which to study for the NCLEX-RN with. :) I hope this helps!

I know there are threads about this but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm trying to figure out how many binders I need to buy for first semester and what sizes?
Specializes in Oncology.

Totally depends on how large your lecture notes are, whether you do powerpoints or handwritten, etc.

I would start with a couple of 1 inch binders and a couple of 2 inch binders and take it from there. I ended up with 10 binders by the time everything was said and done for my BSN program. They are still labeled and sitting on my bookshelf...I still am trying to get up the nerve to throw them away now that I'm licensed. lol, in all honesty, I did not use them for NCLEX review because it was way too much material and in too much detail for the exam. Our exams were specific to the content we were studying for that particular unit and would not have helped much with the overall NCLEX review.

Specializes in Pediatrics and Med Surf Float.

i carried a 1 or 1.5 inch binder with the current test material in it which i transferred into a 3 inch binder after each test. i got the double pack from costco/BJ's/sam's club. some classes needed more than the 3 inches so i have a few small binders also. all in all i have 5 three inch binders (all full), plus 3 smaller binders. thats not including the stack of papers about 5" high i never sorted out.

my school was all PP's. i printed 3 or 6 on a page depending on the teacher. 3 if the teacher added lots or 6 if she basically read them off.

to find what works for you try a few dif sizes till you figure it out. there is no right or wrong

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

I had a 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch binder and a folder for each class.

I also bought each binder in a different color and color-coordinated my folders/binders with my classes. That way, if I knew I had A&P, algebra, and pharmacology, I knew I needed to grab my green, blue and yellow folders. It was much easier for me to stay organized and find things when I needed them.

Specializes in Labor and Delivery.

Yes, agreed it just depends on what works for you. I had one for each lecture class and one for lab and clinicals that I used for both since there wasn't as much paperwork for that. Although some of my classmates just use one or two really big binders and combinelots of stuff so you just have to see what works for you.

Specializes in L&D.

I have a 2 inch binder for each class and I separate each unit with dividers. It works great :)

It really depends on your classes. I would get either one for each class or a monster sized one (3-4 inches). i have 3 classes for the summer, one 3 inch binder is full, one is about half full and the other looks almost empty in comparison. I like my binders divided by exam, then further divided just depending on how the class is broken up. At the very least, have a way to separate your classes.

I've actually stopped carrying the full binder because we have multiple books for that class too and it makes for a very heavy and full backpack. We are about half way through this block though, and it's making me crazy having my stuff unorganized in a folder. You really just have to find what works for you, but I would for sure start with at least one of something big. It never hurts to buy a big one for each class, you can always just use them for another semester.

I always buy 3" binders, but I am trying to go more paperless this semester (not going to print out powerpoints and just save them on my computer) and I am only going to get 2" binders to stop the temptation.

The tip that I really want to share with everyone is what BRAND of binders to get. After throwing money away on binder after binder for myself and my kids because they fall apart or break, I stumbled into the "Better Binder" (that is the name) and you can only buy it at Staples ( They have rubberized corners and spine, reinforced binder attachment, are super heavy duty and they come in at least 10 colors so if you are like me you can have one binder per subject. They are 3-5 dollars more than the Avery or store brand kind, but they have paid for themselves in the long run.

My 11 year old has had the same binder for school for three years now and it looks as good as the day we bought it. :w00t:I bought some two years ago for school and I have used the same ones each semester.

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