11 Nursing School Essentials: From Stethoscope to Comfortable Shoes

11 Nursing School Essentials: From Stethoscope to Comfortable Shoes

Payton Sy, RN, BSN Payton Sy, RN, BSN
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Feeling overwhelmed with buying your nursing school supplies this year? With these 11 nursing school essentials, you’ll be ready to take on nursing school clinicals like a seasoned pro.

1. Stethoscope

Don’t overthink this one. It’s easy to get swept away by the latest nursing school equipment, but at this point in your career, you only need a stethoscope to detect S1 and S2. Purchase any dual-frequency stethoscope and you’ll be on the right track. If your nursing program doesn’t distribute one to you, your student store or the local pharmacy will likely carry one.

2. Comfortable Shoes

If there’s one of the nursing school essentials you should overthink, it’s definitely the shoes. It might take a few iterations to find the perfect shoe depending on your needs. You can’t go wrong starting with a beloved classic, like Klogs. Klogs have been a nursing staple for years, so you might be twinning with your preceptor or with the veteran nurse on the unit, which makes for a great icebreaker.

If you want to try a more up-and-coming style, visit the Moshn section of the Klogs website. The enhanced toe spring really makes a difference when you’re walking up to 10,000 steps a day. Plus, the shoes are easy to clean and stain and water-resistant.

3. Water Bottle

You might not be able to keep it at the nurse’s station, but you should always bring one to your shift. The best water bottle is the one you’ll love (and remember) to drink out of. Moxie water bottles are stainless steel, which is great for temperature control and reducing condensation.

4. Pens

There’s not a nurse out there that isn’t opinionated about their writing utensil. Buy a pack (since you’ll lose your pen more than once) and learn to find solace in the perfect pen.

5. Writing Pad

To avoid lugging around any giant notebooks or clipboards, search for pocket-sized nursing school essentials. A top-bound mini notebook is perfect if you prefer to jot down a few notes as you learn throughout the day.

To prepare for shift report, put a brain sheet (a nursing reference paper about a patient assignment) on top of a mini clipboard. A piece of paper folded into fourths will fit perfectly on a mini clipboard and provide the ideal writing surface on the go.

6. Compression Stockings

Spending 8 - 12 hours on your feet means you need a little more than proper footwear. Compression stockings are one of the nursing school essentials that increase blood circulation in the legs, which can relieve you from leg fatigue and vascular problems later in life.

The standard amount of compression is 20 - 30 mmHg, but you may find that you prefer less pressure. To get a higher pressure, you’ll need to speak with a medical provider to get an order for medical-grade stockings. We love the fun patterns and high quality of Sockwell compression socks

7. Hair Accessories

Having a hassle-free hairstyle allows you to spend less time getting ready in the morning, and not worry about your hair getting in the way of patient care.

This Blissy scrunchie is luxuriously gentle on the hair and doesn’t leave any creases. A headband The Headband Co. is another essential for keeping hair out of your way. Some headbands come with buttons to hold your facemask to mitigate ear pressure.

8. Lunch Box

Emotions can run high near the breakroom fridge. When selecting a lunchbox, be conscientious about how big the lunchbox is so everyone else’s lunch can fit. Opt for a lunchbox that’s insulated and machine washable. Even if you plan on eating lunch out or eating at the cafeteria, a lunchbox is the best place to store fresh, healthy snacks. I love my Yeti insulted lunchbox!

9. Badge Reel

A badge reel is a small way to show some personality through your appearance. These badge reels from Snarky Nurses are both heartwarming and hilarious. There’s one for every personality type and many of the common nursing specialties are represented.

10. Scrubs

Scrubs are one of the nursing school essentials that you can’t forget. Whether you opt for a classic straight leg or fashion-forward joggers, Moxie has you covered. Moxie Scrubs are nurse-designed, super soft, and breathable scrubs that turn long shifts into pajama parties.

11. All-Purpose Bag

Where else are you going to put your other essentials? An all-purpose bag is a great addition to any nursing school starter kit. Some nursing programs will provide bags. If yours doesn’t, look for a bag just big enough to fit what you need. If you need to bring your laptop to clinical, then double check your laptop will fit snugly.

You Are Essential

It’s easy to get caught up in all the nursing school essentials you feel like you need for nursing clinicals. Remember that willingness to learn and being compassionate towards your patients goes a long way.

For more information on tackling nursing school, check out the Moxie Scrubs blog.

About the Author, Payton Sy, RN, BSN

Payton is a nurse content writer and the founder of https://paytonrnwriter.com/. She has experience working in many angles of healthcare, including home health, hospital nursing, primary care, and insurance utilization management. Her interests include patient education in preventative care and health literacy, and inspiring other nurses to command respect as educated professionals.

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