So here I am 20 years and thousands of dollars later. Why didn’t someone tell me I did not need to buy all of that stuff? Honestly, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on different stethoscopes, the latest cute scrubs, designer nursing shoes, nursing bags, the list goes on and on. So here are the things you really need for your first year of nursing:
1. Nursing bag: One good sturdy bag can last a long time. I happen to have 15 of them. However, you can actually get this bag free by attending nursing conferences. A two for one deal: you’ll get CEU’s and a free bag. Can’t beat it!
2. A sturdy pair of scissors and a pair of hemostats: These are hot items so make sure you put your name on them. I have lost a few hundred pair in my time.
3. The latest drug book: This is probably one of the best investments you will make. Remember, instead of buying the latest version every year, stay connected to the publisher so that you can get updates on newly added drugs.
4. Uniforms: Instead of all those fancy do-dads, purchase the least expensive scrubs. But wait, before you purchase any scrubs make sure the facility you will be working for does not require a certain uniform. Many facilities are becoming standardized with their uniforms so that healthcare professionals can be easily identifiable.
5. Clip board: I have several. However, my favorite, which is still in heavy rotation today, is the one I found at the dollar store. I have every lab value, IV calculation, and computer password I’ve collected over my 13 years, written all over it!
6. Stethoscope: This is my most expensive piece of nursing equipment and the best investment I’ve ever made. My Littmann Stethoscope has been there through thick and thin. Purchase a high quality stethoscope, one time, and it will help you make it through every area in nursing. I never leave home without it!
These are essential items needed to survive the first year in nursing. You only need to purchase them once and you’re done!
Nursing students can save a lot of money by purchasing these items while in nursing school. It will help the student prepare for real-world experiences. The student will be able to use these items while practicing in nursing school which will make them more comfortable when they begin their first job.
Students may want to purchase a pen light and a good watch, which is required in most nursing programs. Student may also be preparing to take their NCLEX so purchasing a good review book may also be helpful.
Research shows that new nurses are overwhelmed their first year out and they experience feelings of incompetence. So reducing the anxiety by being prepared can prove to be priceless. New graduates should be able to focus on skills and getting acclimated to the wonderful profession. Worrying about what to buy should be last.