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What does a nursing student need?

Hi everyone! Apologies if this is the wrong forum, but it would be great if you could help me out...

My girlfriend just got into nursing school and will be starting in January, so I figured that some supplies would make a nice Christmas gift. Too bad I have no idea what a nursing student really needs.

Reading around a bit, some ideas are:

1) A PDA. You can store medical references and other stuff to help you out. Any idea what PDA to get (Palm/PocketPC/other)? What options are really useful?

2) Software for said PDA. Doing a quick search, I found several dozen that look useful. Which ones are the best?

3) Digital audio recorder. To record lectures and store them on the PDA.

4) The school lists a few things that are required (stethoscope, penlight, nursing scissors, etc.) Any brands to recommend or avoid?

Are these good ideas, or just the stuff that gets put on lists but isn't really used by the students when they're in class?

Any other recommendations would be great, thanks everyone!


Specializes in ER, ICU, Medsurg.

What a great gift and how thoughtful that you even came on this board to do some research before hand.

PDA's I can't help you with. Don't have one and at this point, don't miss one either.

Voice recorder for lectures would be a good idea if her school allows them. Some don't. I don't use one because we are handed the entire lecture on power point. However, she might find one useful if she if she learns better through listening and can then go back and do notes.

Stethoscope....this is not just "on the list". This is a must. When I started school I just bought the "kit" from the bookstore. Came with everything and then some. The stethoscope is OK but I really wish I had invested money in a good Littman. I was under the impression that being "just a student" I wouldn't need a real good one, however, this is when I really do because this is when we are trying to figure out all the different sounds. So a real good Littman is a great idea. GET HER NAME ENGRAVED ON IT. I've seen an awful lot grow legs at the hospital and its very easy to take off the "tags" they come with. There are some great threads on here recommended various types of stethoscopes, check them out.

The very best xmas present....would be to be as supportive and understanding as possible while she is on her nursing journey. It's a tough road but has great rewards, and she is gonna need as much support as you can muster. Too bad you can't wrap that in a box and put a big bow on it.

Good luck to you and your girlfriend!!!

Some things I have purchased along the way:

A really good pair of shoes. The extra $$$ are worth it.

An organizer for the pen light, pen, scissors, etc.

Socks with arch support. They are that added + to the shoes.

N-CLEX review books

N-CLEX review questions for the PDA. I do questions while I am waiting in lines, getting my hair done, at the doctor's office, at clinicals when I have a few minutes to spare. It has really helped with test taking.

SD chips for the PDA. Never enough memory and you can store those recorded lectures, notes, etc.

A good blood pressure cuff.

IOUs for dishes, laundry, housework.

1. I don't use a PDA so I'm not much help here.

2. Same.

3. Digital audio recorders are nice. You can even get ones that have a USB cable that you can hook up to your computer and it transcribes the recording for you so that you don't have to handwrite it. Those are more expensive, however. Just make sure her school allows them - mine does not :(

4. A stethoscope is a requirement. I use the Littman Classic II S.E. and it's verrrrrry nice! I got a good deal on that website. With S&H it ended up being $73.95 which is actually cheaper than what you would pay at a medical supply store. They are general ~$82 at medical supply stores and in my area, they have a high tax rate so really it would have been ~$90-something for a stethoscope. I can hear great with this...and it also comes with a 3-year warranty so it will last her through school. Just make sure you either get her name engraved or buy a stethoscope I.D. tag to put on it, and tell her not to let this out of her sight!!! Thankfully I haven't seen Littmans disappear in my program but I have heard horror stories about that, so be careful!

A penlight (especially the ones with the pupil diameters in millimeters!), bandage scissors and a hemostat are nice, too. Also maybe get her a box of individually-packed alcohol wipes. I use those quite often!

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