December 13, 2017
Posted by: David Sands
You’ve just received the news. Congratulations, you’ve been accepted into nursing school! Your dream of becoming a registered nurse is now within reach. Before you can start tending to your patients, however, you’ll need to look the part and stock up on a few tools of the trade. While supplies for students may vary from school to school, a few items are nursing student staples that will continue to serve you long after you’ve begun your career.
A great nurse needs the right uniform to deliver the best care to their patients. You’ll be moving around most of the day, so invest in a comfortable, breathable set of scrubs. Be sure to check with your nursing school’s dress code guidelines to ensure you purchase the appropriate color and style. It’s worth mentioning that many schools require white uniforms, so purchasing flesh-colored undergarments will go a long way in ensuring you always look professional.
Any scrubs you purchase should include pockets on either the shirt or pants, as nurses carry small items like pens, notepads and pen lights around with them all day long. Ask your nursing school if painter or cargo style pants are allowed.
Even if you’ve never worn a watch before, you’ll need to get in the habit when you begin clinical practice at nursing school. Between taking pulses, checking on patients and timing medication dosages, nurses are nothing if not master timekeepers. You’ll need a great watch designed for nursing if you’re going to succeed in your career. Look for a watch with an ultra-accurate second hand to ensure you check pulses and administer medications properly.
As a nurse in either a private practice or a hospital, you’ll be administering numerous assessments that require some light. If you’re looking in a patient’s throat or checking their pupil dilation, a penlight is a necessity. While you could theoretically pull out your phone and switch on the flashlight setting, you’ll be wasting a ton of time and risk looking unprofessional by not coming prepared. Invest in a great penlight to ensure you always have easy access to some illumination.
If there’s one thing you should invest in, it’s a decent stethoscope. There are plenty of duds out there that entice you with a cheap price, but a great, high-quality stethoscope can last you years after you graduate. You don’t have to drop hundreds on a stethoscope that can hear a heartbeat from the International Space Station, just one that will actually allow you to hear a patient’s lung expansion when you need it. If you know other nurses or doctors, you may want to consult them on their stethoscope opinions.
Last but certainly not least, find a pair of comfortable, supportive sneakers. As a nursing student, you’ll be on your feet for eight to ten hours per day with few moments to take a load off, so a solid pair of shoes can be a lifesaver. While there are comfortable shoes marketed as “nursing shoes,” any quality sneaker will do. It entirely depends on your tastes. Nike, Dickies and Alegria are popular brands for many nurses, for example. Keep in mind that white sneakers are the preferred color of most nursing schools, so don’t get too whacky with colors or patterns.
The next step toward your dream career as a registered nurse is finally here! Once you’ve stocked up on all the necessities for your nursing school journey, it’s time to get excited about the start of classes.
If you know nursing is the career for you but haven’t yet applied to nursing school, the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) would love to guide you through the process. We understand continuing your education can be intimidating. With the support of our friendly admissions and Division of Nursing advisors, you’ll be well on your way toward achieving your dream. Ready to learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs available through UMFK? Contact us online or call (207) 834-7600 today!