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Nervous New Student..trying to get prepared! HELP!


Nervous New Student..trying to get prepared! I start nursing program in Jan 2013 and am working on getting all of my supplies and items needed for my first day/week of class. There is so much to get done, buy and plan. Don't have much time or money to waste.

Have a quick question and appreciate your feedback. Based on your experiences as previous or current first time nursing students, what do you think is better -- Binder (maybe 2") with dividers & loose leaf paper OR a 5 subject notebook with separate folders? :wacky:

prettymica, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, NP

Specializes in hospice, HH, LTC, ER,OR. Has 12 years experience.

Separate folders.. you are going to need a lot of them :) HUGS and GOOD LUCK :)!

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

moved to General Nursing Student forum as not specific to NJ Nursing. Good luck.


Specializes in Progressive Care. Has 7 years experience.

I liked using binders when I was in nursing school. We would get power points posted on our school website, so I'd print them out and if I wanted to write additional information, I'd have loose leaf paper for that (or I write on the back of the power point page). To save space and keep myself uncluttered, I would only keep current material for the upcoming exam in a binder that would go to and from class with me. Everything else stayed in a giant binder at home, until I needed it for the final. I personally never liked using spiral notebooks, but maybe that's because I scatter when I write down notes. Can't exactly move the pages in a spiral around ;) Good luck!!!

I would have a somewhat big binder, at least 2 " and separate it into units. My school has 5 units per semester, so I divide it into 5. I get the dividers with pockets in them, and that is where I put papers that are pertinent to that unit. I would put some loose leaf paper in the front so that in case you do have to write notes on something you have it available and you can just move that paper to the appropriate unit. It doesn't really matter HOW you organize, as long as you organize in a way that works for you and it might take some trial and error to figure that out.

I just finished my first semester. I had a binder, notebook and folder for each class (Each course had its own color so i wouldnt get confused, five total). I found that this helped me stay organized, but ultimately its up to you. Whatever works best for you is what i would stick with! Good Luck!:up:

I was thinking maybe the binder route may work better but keeping it color coordinated is also a good idea. I have everything - binders, folders and notebooks. Thankfully Walmart has a nice return policy. :)I am generally an organized person but am letting my nerves and anxiety get the best of me. "Reveries" -- I love your idea of keeping a larger binder at home with all of the excess information and only take what I need in the binder I will use to/from class. Thank you!!! All of the advise is very helpful. LOVE allnurses!

2 in binder? lol yeah right....try 4 to 5 in binders.

I started out with a big binder and loose leaf for each class. What I found is that it was a LOT of bulk to be carrying around every day and we have these tiny lecture desks that they don't fit on opened, so I transitioned into a 5 subject that I'd bring to class for note taking and then rip the sheets out and put them into my binder. Plan for this semester is to use a "case it" soft binder with shoulder strap for syllabus and hand outs and a 5 subject.

I found my method to be great.... We use PowerPoints for all out sections.. so I usr those new binders from staples (2in) that has the rubber outline... But it is pretty expensive but good investment! And instead of using paper folders, I came across the plastic folders that won't rip with all the movement of the folder... I'll be using it again next semester!

I use the pull tabs to organize also... It keeps me pretty organized...

I use a 1 1/2 or 2 inch binder. That binder includes all of my power points, notes, calendar, and loose leaf paper. After I take an exam I remove all of my power points for that exam and put them in a HUGE binder at home. So I have two binders.

one smaller one: I carry around every day, has all my notes and information for the upcoming exam

Large one: I keep at home so I put information that I do not currently need.

I like this method because you will probably have tons and tons of notes and power points but will only be using some of them to study for your next exam and for lecture. I like keeping my notes at home that I don't use everyday because they will remain neat and I also do not have to lug them around!

Best of luck!!

I ended up buying a really nice book bag on wheels which expands a lot and so far I can barely fit my books let alone a binder. At this rate I may also need to invest on a back belt like those used by the people that work at Home Depot. I can't believe how much stuff I need and I haven't even started. I feel bad for those that are waiting for the last minute to get all of their stuff. You guys ROCK!!! Thank you.


Specializes in Inpatient Obstetrics.

Separate notebooks for each class have always worked for me and a 5 divided portfolio (I separate by powerpoint slides, quizzes, hw, syllabus, etc.)

But you have to see what works for you, just make sure to be organized

I found my method to be great.... We use PowerPoints for all out sections.. so I usr those new binders from staples (2in) that has the rubber outline... But it is pretty expensive but good investment! And instead of using paper folders, I came across the plastic folders that won't rip with all the movement of the folder... I'll be using it again next semester!

I use the pull tabs to organize also... It keeps me pretty organized...

Ditto the plastic folders! I have been using them for years and they are still holding up. Although I do prefer 1" - 1.5" binders for my current exam's material with the plastic tabbed dividers to separate syllabi, power point notes, quizzes..., along with a 5 subject notebook for hand-written notes. I also have a mini 3-hole punch that fits in my binder because I'm a bit nutty and can't stand loose papers floating around. After an exam, I transfer all of the "old" material to a giant binder that stays at home so I don't have to carry around as much stuff to and from school.

I would also invest in a good calendar with plenty of room for each day. I would not be able to stay on track without one.

I did purchase a rolling backpack which I will be using once I start my "real" nursing classes in January. I'm sick of breaking my back with a regular backpack. So we'll see how that goes once school starts. I may end up using the elevator much more :)

I have to admit, buying new school supplies is one of my favorite things to do. I have already spent a small fortune on pens, notebooks, binders etc... since I got my acceptance letter. It's not like I NEED new things though...but new things are so fun!! :)

Buying school supplies is also one of my guilty pleasures. Because I am limited to space in my house, I am also going to invest in a nice plastic tote so that I can keep all if my "home" stuff in one central location while giving the appearance of being uncluttered. This way I keep my dining room table looking normal.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

When I start back up in school again this January, I am going to use a 2 binder system. My 1st binder is going to be a large 3 inch that everything will be put into, divided by individual units. All of my coursework from my classes from start to finish will be in that binder. The 2nd binder I'm going to use will be a smaller one, approximately 1 inch, and that will have everything that I need to use on a day-to-day basis. Effectively speaking, that is going to contain all of the notes, PowerPoint, and whatever else (like handouts) that I will need for a given unit. After that unit has been completed, everything will be transitioned over to the large binder.

While I have gotten very good grades throughout my schooling so far, transitioning over to this particular organizational style will certainly help me further.

The only other thing that I need to remember to do is to utilize my "brain" far more often and not rely so much on memory to ensure that I get everything done in a timely manner.

I am addicted to school supplies !!!! I bought a 2 inch binder last semester and I like it with the plastic dividers with pockets.. Worked out great!!

I use binders, I have 3 in ones and they were hardly just big enough, I am going to buy bigger ones for this semester. We use power points and print them off and bring them to class, pluss our prof's give us hand outs.