I was at golden living, your first place is LTC and you will be there for 6 weeks or so. If you have never been to a LTC facility, it will be a wake-up call. If you have been or work as an aide presently it will be comfortable to you. Just remember, what ever you "think" you know, they want you to LEARN their way. Keep an open mind and be professional. Did I like Golden Living? yes... I was sad on the last day, you will get to know more than one person in your facility during your stay. Most of the residents know that they will have nursing students, so they look forward to new faces.
Everything is in baby steps, your clinical instructor will size you up in a week or two and assign you accordingly. Remember you are not alone, you will have classmates there as well, it is not into the fire (yet, that comes later ) My first day of LTC clinical was an adjustment since I had no health care experience, My first day of acute care was . Although, that soon passed. Not all facilities are wow, but they all have more to offer than you can take away.
Shoes.. sneakers/tennis shoes white in color work, some instructor will allow a little color. White nursing shoes from a nursing store, you can do that too, but why pay $$$ for them now? Lets be honest now, you will wear these shoes once a week for the first YEAR (101/102). Uh, don't go nuts and buy the dansko's unless you have the $$$. You will be on your feet for 8-10 hours the first year of clinical, get something comfortable and affordable. Some instructors will not allow the croc's, some will, just keep in mind in LTC you may be giving showers/baths, you will get wet. Yes, you will need your name badge, when you get into the hospitals, you will need an hospital ID badge. While it is nice to have your ID badge just in case you forget your hospital ID.
Class is what you wore to A&P, micro, english.. it is class and nothing else, the same goes for skills and assessment.
Scrubs... note there will be times when you will come home and those scrubs will hit the washing machine minutes after you walk in your door. Wearing them a few times a week may not be practical, yes that means you may need more than one set.
Lab coats vary on campus... (okay, I let the cat out of the bag). If you go to the site the day PRIOR to your clinical then you need to either have your scrubs or lab coat. If you do not go to prior, you more than likely will never wear your lab coat. I have not worn my lab coat yet and I start 202 in 9 days. You do not leave ANYTHING anywhere or it will grow legs and walk. Shoes for class, whatever is comfortable. I have seen women in heels (why I don't know) to sandals to sneakers. Ideally, in lab there should be no open toe shoes, so I would keep that in mind. Comfort is key!
Wow, now this is hard. Everyone will find their own system, you need to find what works for you. Some people have one binder each for theory, skills, assessment and clinical. Some people have one binder for everything. I would suggest a few file folders, you will need them to hand in assignments. I would suggest one for the forms you will need (it is best to print/copy them and have them available (this is for clinical). You will need something for the 50+ drug cards you will be doing. Some people just a recipe box, others make them full page and put them in a binder, I but mine in a flexible pencil case. There is a LOT of paper in nursing school, I mean it too. I bought a case of paper to print the powerpoints, forms, care plans, med surg tools and so on. Do you need it? that is up to you. Some classes will provide you the powerpoints (hence the file folders), some will not. A three hole punch will help, I think almost everyone in my class has one.
It will help having the calendar and syllabus for each printed and in your binder, so you can see where you are and what is coming up. A date book or if you use outlook or a similar mail program with a calendar it will help to have it published. There is a lot of stuff that will be coming fast and furious over the first few weeks, do not get stressed about it, just try to organize it. I found most of my classmates made it as visual as possible with calendars, binders, folders being color coded. Again, that is up to your comfort level.
Clinical, ASK what your clinical instructor wants, they may only want you to have a nursing diagnosis and dictionary, others may require nothing or they may require a lot. Split the load, your clinical mates can each bring 1 book to make up the library.
If I suggest anything for the car, perhaps the items I need for clinical, because without them it will be a VERY short clinical.
Have water or snacks, some instructors can go 2 hours without a break, some break every 45-50 minutes. You don't want to be the person dying of thirst/hunger running out and missing something. Recording lectures. Some find it very helpful, you may want to check with your instructor as some prohibit it. Or... you can just find one that is not as obvious :)
Is it tough? initially it will be overwhelming, but it is short lived. After a month you will find your rhythm and fine tune each semester. Right now I focus on theory, lab, clinical, then make sure I take a day (or two) a week off for myself to stay sane. On that day, no nursing stuff at all, it is my day.
Have fun, take a deep breath, don't stress too much and don't preconceive anything, otherwise you will short change yourself. On the 23rd you are one step closer to being a nurse and each passing day you will be one step closer.
I hope this helped