Nursing School Supplies List

Hey nursing students! Nurse Kelly here with a Nursing school supply haul. I will be “Unboxing” some must-have, nice-to-have, and fun-to-have items. Please note that your school will ultimately decide what supplies you must have for nursing school. These are some ideas to get you geared up for nursing school. 


The first item that I share in the video is a Stethoscope case. You will undoubtedly purchase and keep track of an expensive stethoscope to get you through nursing school. Don’t just shove it into your bag at the end of class or clinical. Fold it into this charming case for safe keeping and easy access when you need it next. 


Next up is the stethoscope. This one is a Littmann lightweight stethoscope that is a perfect fit for any nurse or nursing student. You will be raring to go with this accessory! What is the preferred location for auscultating the heart? 5th intercostal space at the apical. 


Then I share the fantastic portable magnetic whiteboard. It is meant to be used on the go! When I was faculty and then Associate Dean of Nursing, I saw how students studied over the years was changing. Students like to travel or go to coffee shops. You don’t always have a whiteboard readily available, so this is a terrific option. You can quiz each other, write out concepts, and draw images if you are a visual learner. For a deep dive into Study Skills for Nursing School, check out my Study Skills course at 


Then I share something that is fun to have but not necessarily a “must-have.” These super cute note pads are great for little reminders, and sometimes you just want something adorable to look at! One is a saline bag that says “100% Nursing Student Tears.” I can reassure you that you will not cry that much, and some people just want to scare you. Please stick with me, Nurse Kelly, in my Facebook Nursing 101 group and on Instagram to get support from peers!


What would you put in your “Nursing Survival Kit?” I had asked that question to my Nursing 101 FB group earlier. I suggest protein bars, saline for dry eyes, facial tissues, sanitizer, hair ties, bandaids, Tylenol or Ibruprofen, gum, mints, phone or tablet charger, and electrolyte powder for starters. Put all these goodies in your “Nursing Survival Kit,” and you are ready to throw them in your bag and run off to class or clinical.


The key to nursing school is staying organized and on task. The weekly planning stickers are a nice to have item for nursing school. They are an additional way to help you maintain your time management regime and remind you to take a break. NurseHub’s Self-Care course is about how to survive nursing school most healthily and happily as possible. We must remind ourselves to take breaks, disconnect, and then get back on track as needed.


Next is a must-have item for Nursing School, a student planner. In my Time Management course for NurseHub, I walk you through how to time block your day/weeks as a nursing student. Although you may have transferred to an electronic calendar, I find that writing things out is a great way to feel more organized when you are in nursing school. The planner in the video is an old version from 2019. 


Warning those who have an Apple watch, your clinical sites may not allow you to wear them. In that case, it is best to have a simple watch. This item is for you if you prefer a pocket watch option. I like the watch fob and clip because you can set it anywhere while administering medications. IV or central line push medications must be given at a precise rate, not too fast, not too slow. You will be in charge of timing it, so you certainly need a reliable watch with a second hand. I remember many times as faculty assisting my students pushing 60 mg of IV Lasix over 6 minutes (agency policy was 10mg/minute. See why you need to know nursing math?)…this seems like an eternity! Be as prepared as you can!


Are you an auditory, kinesthetic, or visual learner? If you don’t know, go to my Study Skills course at and find out! If you are an auditory learner, you will benefit greatly from listening to recordings of lectures. Some schools may not allow recording during class. It could also vary across faculty. However, if you have an accommodation plan in place for this, then you will certainly need a cute little reliable recorder like this. 


I then unbox these very trendy Blue Light Blocking Safety Glasses. Now, clinical sites will dictate what is appropriate for Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. This will likely not be approved for safety goggles in clinical. However, you can wear them regardless. Just swap out if you need to don actual PPE for an isolation or treatment scenario. Also, you can use them in the lab, simulation, or classroom. I love wearing mine when I sit staring at the screen and work on my doctorate papers and while I build content for NurseHub. You should get the blue shade glasses and save your eyeballs! 


Next, you must have a penlight, bandage, scissors, and some kind of clipboard to keep notes as you go in lab and clinical. This product has it all together in one package. As soon as you begin your skills course and learn head to toe assessments, you will need a pen light to check for PERRLA= Pupils Equal Reactive Restrictive to Light Accommodation. The penlight doubles as a little ruler, measure pupils, measure wounds, all with one pen! Also, the bandage scissors will be used frequently. You will be cutting tape, bandages, and more, and as long as the patient is not in isolation and you clean it in between, you can carry your own scissors with you. 


I have said it once, and I will say it again, organization is so important! Organization of your supplies, calendar, and life! These sticky notes with tabs will assist you in staying organized. Label your flashcards as you go and it will make your life easier! Color coordination is a great tip. All of your respiratory medications for Pharmacology could be blue (blue as in oxygen or lack of if you are turning blue)!


The next item comes up more frequently than I ever thought possible with nursing students, a calculator! Now, I am warning you that on your nursing exams, you will not be able to use your phone as a calculator. When I was faculty, students had to remove all watches, phones, water bottles away from them during their high-stakes exams. A simple calculator was allowed. This is common across most nursing programs. If your school uses electronic testing, like Examsoft, you will get a calculator option on your computer screen, just like NCLEX. I also loved this one because it is blue and easy to find in your bag when it comes to exam time. Even better, check out my Test Taking Strategy for nursing school course with NurseHub, and I have created a check list so you will NEVER forget items on exam day! I still have recurring nightmares that I missed nursing exams, I was in nursing school over 20 years ago, and this still happens. I never missed an exam because I was extremely organized, and I want you to feel the same way!


The next couple items are all about comfort as a nursing student. These joggers are the sleekest most comfortable scrub pants I have ever worn. Please note that your nursing school will dictate your uniform, dress code, scrub color, and more. These pants are great for when you have lab days or even theory days. I don’t know about you, but when I am dressed for the part, I feel it! If you have scrubs on, you are in nurse mode! Make sure to check your handbook for what you are allowed to wear under your scrub top if anything. These plain long sleeves (most commonly, schools allow white or solid colors) are a great option. I mention that I would have got a larger size though, to fit my longer arms. 


This next item is one good invention that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the headband with buttons for your mask to slip over. Typically, most healthcare workers only had to wear masks in specific situations. Now, masks are the new normal. I consistently wore a headband to keep hair out of my eyes. These headbands are super comfortable and affordable. 


Your nursing bag is a must-have item. When I was faculty, I had students with super adorable rolling bags. Low and behold, they were actually crafting bags from Hobby Lobby, a local craft store. There are many more design options for craft bags than rolling backpacks out there. They are full of compartments so you can stay organized. Also, if you have a bag that you love but wish it was rolling, you can buy a rolling cart to strap your bag onto. 


The final item is a fun-to-have item, vinyl nursing stickers. You can put these on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, notebooks, binders, and more. Some of you may even get lockers to put them on. Not a necessary purchase, but it can put a smile on your face or someone else’s. 

BOVKE Stethoscope Case

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

Portable Magnetic Whiteboard

Funny Nurse Sticky Notes

Nursing School Survival Kit Pencil Case

Weekly Planning Stickers

Nursing Student Planner

Watch Fob and Clip

Digital Voice Recorder

Blue Light Blocking Safety Glasses

Nursing Clipboard with Pen Light and Bandage Scissors

Sticky Notes with Tabs

Simple Calculator


Long Sleeve Underscrub Tee Shirt

Headband with Buttons for Mask

Rolling Backpack

Funny Nurse Stickers


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