Suggestions for supplies :)


What do you think is needed for nursing class other than the basic pens & paper..

Thanks :)


549 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

- binder and section dividers

- quality 3 hole puncher

- stapler

- index cards

- page tab sticky things to mark your text

- lots of ink for your printer

- basic pocket calculator - don't rely on your phone because they probably won't let you use it during tests

I prefer the reinforced notebook filler paper for binders. it's expensive but it has plastic lining the holes so the pages won't tear out of your binder. You will really need a binder - you'll get way too many handouts and papers you need to keep with you for a folder or a notebook with pockets. Binder with looseleaf is the way to go. I also really love having my laptop in class - I have a basic, lightweight one. I get much better notes because I can type way faster than I write. Before you buy the required drug guide & medical dictionary, check to see if you'll be allowed to use your smartphone (if you have one) in clinicals. For about the same price as the books, you can get access to websites and an app for your phone.

That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

If you can get non-glare page protectors to hold the hand outs in the binder, they will last longer. :)

For clinicals, there are a lot of little things that are good to have. If you want those, let me know :)

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

OK...:) Let's go shopping :up:

stethoscope.... everyone talks about Littmanns, which are really good- and expensive. I have a Prestige (med student was p-o'd because mine sounded as good as his $200 scope. Mine was about $50). But do get a good does make a difference...Pay the 3 bucks for an ID tag (separate item)

hemostats ... (just tell them at the uniform place what you want- or in many uniform catalogs). Get 2. They're cheap, and can be used for anything from loosening IV tubing to clamping a loose tube, crushing meds still in the bubble package, or anything else your fingers are too big to do, but you need something that holds on.

GOOD bandage scissors.... you want something that looks like it could chew through a branch of a small tree. Many have plastic handles in colors that coordinate with scrubs or stethoscope ID tag.

nerdy pocket protector... I liked the canvas ones- if possible with a pocket along the entire back (not just the ones in front). It makes it easier to have your junk in one place- and grabbing it out of your pocket instead of a million little things is easier, too.

cheap pens... (get the boxes of 12 at the office supply place). In hospitals, pens can actually walk. You can be using it, turn around for a second, and never see it again. Doctors are the worst. It's easier to just keep a box in your purse (or at least 3-4). No point in getting really good ones- you just need them for the little amount of non-electronic paperwork (signatures, some minor labeling). I'd get black ones (some places may still allow blue, but black is always a safe choice).

a fine point permanent marker (black)... put your name on EVERYTHING you'd hope to get back if you lost guarantees, but it helps. When you get in good with a floor nurse or the unit clerk, see if you can get a hospital ID band for your scissors (and stethoscope if you can't find the ID tag for it). I'd just put your first name, last initial, and the initials of your school. :)

Stuff to get at the beginning of your shift (ask your instructor when this is ok).... at least 10 alcohol pads, a roll of tape, and if you can score a flimsy tourniquet, those are also good for taking IV tubing apart, protecting your fingers from ampules (if anyone still uses those-- look like a weird glass bottle for Barbie :D Medication comes in them (or did- LOL). If you can't get a tourniquet, a baby bottle nipple is also good- just the nipple- you put the small end of the ampule in the nipple as far as it goes, and use the nipple to break the glass, by snapping the skinny end off... and other people think you're relatively bright for coming up with the idea - I won't tell :) (I can't remember who I stole it from). THOSE protect really well- but are a bit awkward to stuff in the pocket protector- and looks a bit weird until you're the only one who can get into an ampule without slicing your finger off. The tourniquet is easy to wrap around the nerd pack.

Stuff to make (or find in books, and copy - but shrink it- and use clear tape over an index card)-- some basic cheat sheets (labs, for pediatrics, the vital sign ranges for different ages, and anything else you want handy). You might end up changing these out depending on the class.

These are basic... I'm sure others will have more ideas. :clown:


549 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

something stupid I did that is supply-related...

we have to write up med cards for clinical. I can't stand writing very much so my instructor said it was okay to type the info and glue it to index cards. Knowing that school glue often dries and falls apart after a while, I bought some rubber cement instead....

Well the hospital we're at is latex-free, after I was done my cards I was reading the bottle of rubber cement.... It contains latex :smackingf


9 Posts

I don't know if you're instructors use powerpoints or not, but I found it helpful to print them out before hand and add notes in during class! You can do the print 3 with lines to write on the right hand side.

tokyoROSE, BSN, RN

1 Article; 526 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 2 years experience.

I like to stick to basics and I don't like to lug around so much supplies anywhere. My essentials are: 2 inch binder, plastic tabs (one for each class), a little pouch with three rings to put inside the binder with pens, pencils, eraser, highlighters, mini stapler, and tabs to mark in books. For clinicals I have ONE set of scrubs, stethoscope, pens, and a clipboard.

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

For class:

- pens. lots of them.

- highlighters. lots of those, too, in various colors. I am such a highlighting fiend and color-coded EVERYTHING in my notes haha.

- note cards - preferably in bulk if possible.

- 3 hole punch

- stapler

- invest in printer ink and printer paper and a good printer if your school does not allow you to print notes

- folders

- sticky notes

- sticky tabs

For clinical:

- A GOOD STETHOSCOPE. For students, I recommend a Littmann Classic II SE. I paid $74 (including tax and S&H) for it brand new. Prices vary depending on where you buy. I bought mine online from and it was the cheapest I found, even cheaper than in store, which was $83 not including tax. If you don't want to buy online, check out medical supply stores or see if your local hospital sells them - most do. Medical supply stores tend to give discounts for students (like 10% or something). And please buy a stethoscope ID tag, preferably the Littmann-brand one. Those are VERY hard to get off for one, but just because your stethoscope has one doesn't mean it is safe. Littmann's have a tendency to "walk away" - so don't leave it lying around someplace!

- storage clipboard. You can buy one with a calculator on it (which is handy) or one without - but these clipboards open up so you can store papers and extra supplies inside. They range from $6-$10 at Walmart.

- scissors

- hemostats

- LOTS of black clicky pens - black because you have to write in black ink and clicky so you don't have to worry about the caps

- reference books - I would bring at least a drug book. My school required us to buy RNotes by Davis which is excellent. The Incredibly Easy series also has a bunch of pocket guides which are very useful, too. I would look into those.

- a black sharpie. Useful for marking NG output or chest tube output on the cannister.

- some cash for lunch (small amount, like $5-$10) - don't bring your debit/credit cards!

- a snack or two - I like fresh fruit or a granola bar.

- penlights are handy. Please stay away from the LED lights, tho! Nothing like "oh hey, let me blind the absolute CRAP out of your eyeballs while I check your pupils!"