The Only Nursing School Supply List You’ll Ever Need

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If you searched for a nursing school supply list, you are probably wondering what organ you need to sell to be able to buy all the things people say you need.

When I started nursing school I bought planners, cheat sheets, study guides, a gigantic binder, tons of notebooks, pretty notes other people made, etc., etc.

I’m sorry to say, but I didn’t need any of those things, and especially didn’t need them to help me get a 4.0 GPA in my first year of nursing school.

Oh, and I wasted a lot of money. Now I’m not saying those things won’t help anyone, but they just didn’t help me, or a lot of my friends.

So let’s go through the things that I believe you actually need for your nursing school supply list, and nothing that you don’t actually need.

*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. I only recommend products that I personally use and enjoy. Read more on our privacy policy page.

1. A Laptop

Amazon link to this item

To my surprise, on my first day of nursing school, it was made known that a laptop was actually required to participate. For example, we were expected to take our graded quizzes in class on our laptops.

A good computer is needed in just about every nursing program. Your teacher will likely teach off of PowerPoints that you will have access to download. Also, as I have stated in other articles, my study method of choice to earn straight A’s in nursing school is Quizlet, and a few other online test banks I subscribe to.

So a good laptop is absolutely a necessity in nursing school. Your life will be really hard if you have an old one, or a big bulky one. So, I have linked the laptop that almost everyone and their mom uses in nursing school.

2. One backpack

Amazon link to this item

I had purchased a “clinical” backpack, but I never used it. Dang it. I have found that you can just use your same school backpack for clinical. So, therefore, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality Jansport backpack to get you through nursing school.

3. A high-quality stethoscope and case

Amazon link to this item
Amazon link to this item

You are going to absolutely need a stethoscope, and a case, to protect it during nursing school. In your clinical rotations, you will be expected to bring it with you to assess your patients.

If your school is like mine, you will also have to perform a full head-to-toe health assessment on a real patient in front of your professor. Your professor will expect you to hear the same sounds that they are, so you definitely want to be able to hear well, especially because you will be nervous.

Littman is the best in the game, and this is the exact case that I have. It is super cute and keeps my stethoscope in perfect condition.

4. Penlight

Amazon link to this item

This penlight on Amazon is another tool you will be expected to bring to your clinical rotations. Assessing your patient’s pupils, nares, ears, and mouth will be expected every shift. Again, you will likely have to perform this in front of your professor, so you want a nice high-quality light. Don’t get caught without one or that means you aren’t really fully assessing your patient.

4. Second-hand watch

Amazon link to this item

Apple watches are hugely popular in the nursing community. You can put it into stopwatch mode, and activate the second hand, etc.

Also, as a mother, I need to be able to see that I am getting calls from my daughter’s school when I am at clinical. I have never had an issue with a clinical instructor not understanding this.

I can accept not being allowed to carry my phone onto the floor, but I need my Apple Watch on me at all times in case of an emergency.

5. Nursing shears

Amazon link to this item

Don’t be that nursing student who shows up to clinical without nursing shears. Trust me, you will be asked by the nurse who you are following for the day if they can borrow them.

This is a great set of shears because sometimes you need a different size for different things. They are super affordable. And they just make your life so much easier.

6. Nursing clipboard

Amazon link to this item

You will need a clipboard for clinical as well. This is the clipboard I use because it has storage where you can put a bunch of papers inside.

Clinical requires a ton of paperwork, and the more organized you are there, the smoother your nightly homework goes. Write as much information on your patient as possible, as is allowed by your professors. At clinical, the more prepared you are the better your care plans will be, and they will take less time.

7. Basic Calculator

Amazon link to this item

You will likely need a basic calculator for clinical, and possibly for your exams as well. This is a super cute one I found that will easily fit in your pocket during clinical.

I had a few professors who would require calculators at clinical because we were required to work out our dosage calculations before giving our patients medications, in front of the teacher. So definitely have one of these calculators on hand.

A few additional things to add to your nursing school supply list:

You will also need some basic school supplies such as:

  • Your school’s textbooks
  • Your school’s scrubs
  • Notebooks and pens
  • Planner (totally optional)

To Conclude our Nursing School Supply List:

A nursing school supply list to get you started

These are truly the only supplies I believe that you need to do well, and to get right to work in nursing school. Now, your professor may require you to have a few more specific supplies. But having everything on this list will make sure you are ready for your first day of school.

A nursing school supply list does not need to be miles long. Don’t get too distracted by all the glitter and “cutesy” things. They are fun, but when you are in the program, you won’t even care anymore honestly. All that will matter to you is that you have high-quality things that are going to work for the whole semester to help you pass your nursing classes.

Let us know if you think we missed something super important in the comments below! Can’t wait to hear from you.

Jackie J.

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