Preparing for my first day as a Nurse!!

  1. I am a new grad RN (Aug 2012) and have somehow managed to get a job on the MedSurg/Tele Unit in an acute care hospital in Southern California!!! WooHoo! My start date is in 2 weeks. Now what?!? School has prepared me for the mechanics of nursing, but they didn't really go into depth on personal preparations/supplies. I don't want to go in looking like Super Nurse reporting for duty, but I also don't want to look like an ill prepared new grad without a clue (yeah, right ~ hehehe).

    How many pairs of shoes should I have?
    Socks vs stockings?
    How many sets of scrubs?
    Tools of the trade: Stethoscope, mini calculator, scissors, flashlight, drug book, and pens....... Am I missing something?

    So excited, yet terrified at the same time. Any input, suggestions or recommendations are welcome! Thanks!!
  2. Visit NurseGLC profile page

    About NurseGLC, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 15; Likes: 13


  3. by   TX.RN.Shannon
    First of all, congratulations! If it's a med surg/tele floor, get ready to hustle!

    The shoes and scrubs/hose thing is something you'll have to figure out. I don't wear hose because I am too hot natured. I have one pair of "work" Nikes that I replace every few months. I only have 4 or 5 sets of scrubs right now as there is talk of a possible dress code change.

    Supplies you have covered; just bring lots of pens--they will disappear. I don't remember if you listed hemostats, but they are a necessity for me.

    I bring my lunch and snacks since I work nights. I also have a coin purse with change and small bills for hitting the Coke machine. I also absolutely have to have my "bag o' goodies"---a makeup bag with ibuprofen, Chapsticks, hand lotion, etc.

    Good luck!
  4. by   RNperdiem
    Don't rush out and buy more than the minimum until you have worked at bit.
    What is the dress code? Solids only, certain colors, anything goes? Find out.
    Buy enough sets of work clothes for laundry once a week or so. You can always add as you go along.
    Start with one pair of shoes. Start wearing them around the house to break them in.
    Some nurses like stockings. I prefer the sweat-wicking runners socks you find at the athletic supply stores. They are expensive, don't buy more than one pair unless you are sure they work for you.
    The tools of the trade sounds fine to me.
    How about lunch? Does your workplace have a cafeteria? Do you have supplies to provide you with a morale and energy-boosting meals.
    If you are working nights, do you have blackout shades on your windows and some form of "white noise" if you are sensitive to sounds when trying to sleep?
  5. by   dah doh a few sets to start. Once you find the colors, style, and brand you like, you can buy more. I like pockets! I have a dozen sets because I wash scrubs separately and want a full load when I wash. I wear thorlo socks, but some wear cheap socks. I tried ted hose...too hot and kept rolling down, but you can try them. Shoes...get a comfortable pair and change out the insole or shoes soon as your feet don't feel right. I also have Hemostats/Kelly clamps, EKG calipers, a good light source (not a nurse penlight), mini sharpie, food, snacks, water, coffee, a few dollars and change for vending machine use, meds/toiletries.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Another thing I forgot... Since you live in California, I assume you will be driving to work.
    Plan a couple of alternate routes, and time how long it takes you to get to work. Drive at the times you are likely to be on the road. Time the walk to the hospital (near parking or far?), and calculate what time you will need to leave home.
  7. by   NurseGLC
    Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful feedback! Looks like I got some shopping to do, and a little more prep work!
  8. by   That Guy
    Get the shoes now and break them in. Nothing sucks more than new shoes.

    Tools. You will develop your own style. There is a thread in the ED board about what we all carry on a daily basis and it is varied. On your list I would subtract the calculator and drug book as they are at the desk. I would add tape, carpuject, hemostats and alcohol wipes, sharpie and small bandage shears.

    Bring everything in a backpack. Pack snacks. Bring some money. Eyedrops ( my contacts dry out ), car keys etc etc all go in to here.

    Single most important thing: Water bottle. Drink water.
  9. by   KayyyT
    Just came in her to say congrats! lol
  10. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
    Ok, it's going to feel like you are still in nursing school for a while, but things will readjust as you go and you will feel better. You will make mistakes. Some of them will be med errors. DO NOT HIDE THESE! Most of the time calling the MD and telling them what happened will be just "Observe them for problems for the next four, call me if there's a problem" or "Ok, write in for a x1 now order for that."

    You will feel down but I'll tell you the one thing that made me feel so much better.. are you ready?

    "Do you really think that in all of their years of nursing, they've never seen a new grad before?!"

    That's right. They've had new ones before you and will have new nurses after you. You'll be ok.

    Most of all... CONGRATULATIONS!!!
  11. by   NurseGLC
    :-) Thank you so much for all your advice, encouragement, and congratulations!! Really appreciate the feedback!
  12. by   SleeepyRN
    Congrats! I would look up "brain sheets" on this site and tailor them to your needs. It will help you organize your day. As someone mentioned, sharpies! For labeling IV lines, dressings, feeding tubes etc. Good luck! Keep us posted Its exciting seeing a fellow new grad get a hospital position if that's their goal.
  13. by   Jenni811
    How many pairs of shoes should I have? i have two, but only wear one. I purchased some "odor absorbing" insoles. It sounds gross to talk about sweaty, stinky feet. But lets face it. we are on our feet for 13 hours/day. The shoes we wear allow for little breathing. your feet and shoes begin to STTTTINK! so purchase a good pair of odor absorbing insoles to put in your shoes. they are cheap, actually very comfortable and will save your shoes/feet and socks. Dr. Scholls sells them, i know there are other brands but i've been very happy with Dr. Scholls.
    Socks vs stockings? Its a preferance thing. I prefer socks. I purchased a pair of stockings (im assuming your talking about compression stockings). I found i got insanly itchy at the end of the day. It drove me insane, i'd rather deal with swollen/sore feet than the itchiness they caused.
    How many sets of scrubs? I have about 6 sets of scrubs. Working 3 days/week (12 hour shifts) the most you'll ever work in a row is 6 days (ex: Friday, Saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday wednesday assuming monday is a new work week). So you should be ok with 6. Doesn't hurt to purchase an extra pair to keep in your locker for those unfortunate days. Another word of advice...KEEP YOUR RECIEPT FOR SCRUB PURCHASES!!!! come 2013 tax season you will be able to write these off as tax deducations. I didn't do it and i regret it.
    Tools of the trade: Stethoscope, mini calculator, scissors, flashlight, drug book, and pens: Stethoscope for sure, scissors are helpful but you can survive without it. Drug and ACLS book (i keep it in my cubby). I also keep a box of those cheap click pens in my locker. DOn't use ones with caps because you will loose the cap and ink will ruin your scrubs quickly. Don't purchase nice pens, or those ones that look like will lose your pens!!! So just purchase a big bag of those cheap ones. Calculators are avaliable on computers so not necessary. We have flashlights avaliable in every room, but honestly i don't use it that much. Helpful to have one? Yes, but you could keep it in your locker and cubby. It's alot to carry around with you.
    When you get on for the first day...stock up on alcohol swabs!!! you will go through them like potatoe chips.
  14. by   CountyRat
    Quote from That Guy
    Bring everything in a backpack.
    And in that back pack have an extra set of scrubs, panties, and socks, all in a plastic (water proof) bag. Just do it. You will find out why soon enough.