It’s that time of year! Summer is coming to an end as schools open their doors for a new academic year. At Utica College’s accelerated nursing program, we’re excited to welcome our new students and see our existing students move into a new semester! This is a time of new classes, new friends, and of course, new school supplies! Back-to-school shopping can take up a lot of time and energy. In nursing school, students are required to have many of the same supplies as working nurses, which can make for a long list. The time that would have been spent picking out the right colored pencils and pencil pouch for third grade is now spent finding the best stethoscope for nursing school. We have prepared a list of the top six must-have school supplies for nursing students so you can focus on the most important thing of all – going back to school!
- Stethoscope: Stethoscopes are constantly used by nurses and nursing students. They come in one-tube and two-tube varieties with single and double head options. Stethoscopes are easily customizable, with different colors of tubing and a wide variety of tubing slip covers to make your stethoscope unique. The key to a good stethoscope is quality, so do your research and buy a reputable brand that is known to last.
- Day Planner: A planner is important for any student, but a planner organized by day with plenty of room to write is essential for staying organized in nursing school. In addition to maintaining a schedule, a day planner allows you to track short-term and long-term items, such as assignments, tests, lab hours and so on. Using different colors of ink for different classes or different kinds of tasks will make referring back to the planner even easier in the future.
- Wrist Watch: Finding the right watch is more than a fashion statement; it is a necessity in nursing school. Most nurses prefer analog watches with a sweeping second hand over digital watches. The second hand is used to track the seconds during pulse readings. Although style can influence the decision, functionality and durability should be the major factors in choosing the right watch. The perfect watch for a nursing student has a large-face analog display with a sweeping second hand, is water resistant to withstand frequent hand washing, consists of a durable material that can withstand heavy use, includes backlighting or lit hands, and has a long-lasting battery.
- Penlight: Penlights are used often in nursing school to observe eye dilation and in situations where lighting is restricted. These tools are small and easily misplaced, so spending a large sum of money isn’t necessary. The best option is buying two or more (some retailers sell packs of four) decent penlights. Most are battery operated and work best with Energizer or Duracell batteries. Avoid LED lights as they are too bright for the human eye and will make your patients uncomfortable.
- Surgical Nursing Scissors: Scissors are used often in nursing school to open packaging, cut or trim bandages or tape, and so on. The best type of scissors for nursing students are either bandage scissors or EMT/utility shears made of stainless steel. Nursing scissors are relatively inexpensive (less than $5 for one pair) and can be purchased at different locations ranging from medical supply shops to home improvement stores.
- Medical Dictionary: Although your books for school will contain definitions to key terms learned throughout the lessons, having a medical dictionary handy for quick reference will save time in and out of class. A pocket dictionary is great to carry with you in clinicals and to class.
If you are interested in Utica College’s accelerated nursing program, contact us today to get started!