The Essentials Every Student Nurse Needs

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Student Nurse|The Essentials Every Student Nurse NeedsStudent nurses are those that are partaking in an educational course. Unlike qualified nurses, they are on clinical rotations and their work is supervised by a nursing instructor. It can take a few years to be qualified and during that time, student nurses will likely work on different sites to test and enhance their skills and knowledge. To achieve the most from your education and time as a student nurse, here are some essentials you need.

On-site clothing

The role of a student nurse requires on-site work as well as educational sessions. Therefore, you must have the right clothing to ensure your and your patient’s health and safety. A few items you’ll need are scrubs, shoes, and PPE. Shopping for clothes and equipment is simple online. You can find scrub jackets at as well as other equipment.

After you qualify, you will require clothes anyway. Thus, getting them ahead of time will benefit you and help you transition into the role of a student nurse smoothly.

Compression stockings

As a nurse, student or not, you will be on your feet for most of the day. When you are standing for too long, you are vulnerable to varicose veins in your older age.

To prevent this, compression stockings will increase and maintain your blood flow, which will also prevent pain and swelling of the feet and ankles.


Stethoscopes are an essential tool that every student nurse needs. They are to be worn at all times so that you can check a patient’s heartbeat while on the job. You never know when a patient might require one. Or, you might be randomly chosen to perform a health check to test your skills.

If you are always well prepared, then you will be never caught out and looked down on by the staff. When you have the right tools, it shows you are ready and organized for any nursing situation.

Blood pressure cuffs

As a student nurse, you may often be asked to check a patient’s blood pressure. Most hospital environments have them attached to the monitors. However, it is ideal to have your own.

Moreover, as a student nurse, it is common for you to move around to different nursing situations, such as people’s homes. Thus, having a blood pressure cuff on you will be necessary to take the reading as the person you are caring for will likely not have one.


Penlights are essential for checking a patient’s neuro status. When you shine a penlight into a patient’s eye, you can their neuro response through eye movements.

Penlights are cheap and very easy to carry around in your scrub jacket pocket. Always have one on hand because you never know what situation you might step into.

Dressing scissors

A common task for student nurses to achieve is to dress wounds. These are great tests to assess a student’s skills, so they will likely be asked by the nursing tutor or doctor on the ward with you.

So that you are always prepared and ready, having dressing scissors will ensure that you can efficiently dress the wound and cut the dressing.

You may also require scissors for various other miscellaneous uses, so they are always handy to have.


You will often be in a nursing environment for a long time. Nurses can work around 12 hours at a time, so you will want to check up on the time.

Student nurses are often given a schedule so that they can move around a hospital to work on different wards. If so, you will need to keep an eye on the time so that you aren’t late.

Sometimes you will be required to have your hands and wrists free of jewelry for the safety of patients. Thus, a pocket watch is a handy tool to keep an eye on the time.

Study guides

Whether you are on the wards or not, a study guide will be a good item to carry around to fill your spare time with. Or, if you become unstuck in a situation and lack the skills, you can rely on your guide to give you the help you need without pestering other staff. However, never be afraid to ask questions as that is how you learn.

A study guide is an essential piece of equipment as a student nurse as it is something to refer back to as well as enhance your knowledge on the move.

Tote bags

A tote bag can come in really handy when you are a student nurse. You will be able to carry around all of your essentials and be able to grab them easily.

A soft tote bag will be safe for patients and blend in well with your uniform.

In your tote bag, you can carry your study guide, stethoscope, scissors, and any other essential pieces of equipment you need.

Drug guide

All student nurses will be learning about the different drugs and medications and what they do. You might not know every single one. Thus, having a drug guide will help you assess what a patient needs and get it right.

You can find pocket drug guides, which will be easy to carry around in your tote bag or your scrubs pocket.

Badge holder

Student nurses will require a badge just like a qualified nurse. It signifies that you are eligible to help patients and work on the ward.

You must carry your badge on you at all times for the sake of the practice and its patients. To keep your badge safe, a badge holder is handy.

Note pads and pens

As a student nurse, you will be constantly learning when you are on the wards. You may often be asked to sit and watch a procedure or doctor care for a patient. When you are observing, it is a great time to take notes.

Note-taking will enhance your learning and help you remember some tips and tricks of the industry. Having a notepad and pen at hand all of the time will ensure that you can write down and remember everything that you learn.

A diary

Speaking of stationery, having a diary will be key so that you can organize your time. You will likely move from place to place and be in and out of education throughout your qualification. Thus, writing down your schedule will ensure that you are on time and never miss a session.

If you were to miss a session, it could delay your progress and stop you from learning every trick that you need.

Hand cream

When you are a nurse, you will constantly be washing your hands to free them from bacteria. This is for the health and safety of yourself and your patients. Thus, your hands might become dry and feel irritated while working.

To prevent this, carry around a travel-size hand cream so that you can keep your hands moisturized all of the time.

Anti-bacterial gel and wipes

To keep areas clean and bacteria-free, using anti-bacterial gels and wipes will help. Although most practices will have these lying around, it can be useful to bring your own so that you know where they are located.

A benefit of having anti-bacterial is for the sake of your patients too. Wiping down equipment in front of them will help them to feel at ease.

Flesh toned underwear

Many practices require white scrubs, which can sometimes be see-through. You won’t want anyone seeing your underwear. Thus, wearing flesh-toned underwear will make your underwear invisible.

Having dedicated underwear for work can act as a part of the uniform.

Voice recorder

Although you can write down notes, you might not have time to if you are doing a task. Therefore, having a voice recorder will help you record and listen back to the information that you heard.

A voice recorder will also be a great way for you to hear back a conversation and learn from how you dealt with it.


When you are working in a hospital environment, you will likely need to take notes to hand back to the staff. To do so, a clipboard can make the process easier.

Instead of having to find somewhere to lean on, you can use your clipboard and attach it to your uniform or place it back in your tote bag for easy access.


Although you will learning from your place of education and on the wards, you can attain extra knowledge from the outside.

Nursing podcasts are a great way to learn about real-life scenarios and educate yourself further. Hosts are typically nurses or those that work in the industry, which will give you an insight into how other practices work.

Meal and drink prep

When you are working as a student nurse, you might go to and from your education campus to the practice. Or, you might work incredibly long shifts. Either way, you will need to stay energized and hydrated. Thus, meal and drink prepping will ensure that you can eat and drink on the go.

Meal containers are useful for taking meals. Then, a flask is great for any drink of choice. You might require some tea or coffee to keep you alert during long shifts.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *