I remember when I got accepted into the University of San Francisco. I searched the internet tirelessly for some sort of guidance on what supplies to purchase…especially clinical. And I wound up with nothing. So I have developed my own list of supplies that were crucial for my nursing clinical success. They were functional but also fit my desire to have everything be aesthetically pleasing!

  • Sphygmomanometer- Formerly known as a blood pressure cuff. Purchase the cuff and bag set to keep it safe.
  • Stethoscope- I suggest the Littmann Classic Stethoscope. They have every color imaginable! Yes they are pricey, but this is not something you want to go the cheap route with.
  • Penlight- Spare yourself the hassle and get a penlight that has pupil gauge measurements on the side.
  • Clinical Notebooks- I used the Moleskine pocket notebooks for clinical. These were easy to throw notes onto yet small enough to fit into packed pockets.
    • My first nursing semester I used a hollow clipboard to store my care plans and study notes in. This made sense since I wasn’t entering and exiting patient’s rooms constantly. However, as time progressed, anything entering and exiting the patient’s room with me had to fit in my pockets so I switched to the Moleskine notebooks.
  • Pen- A lot of my colleagues used the pens with numerous color options to scribble onto their nursing brains. For me, the various colors were too much. I liked a simple Pilot G-2 Black Ink pen.
  • Pocket Drug Book- This little book saved me more times than I could mention. There are times when as a student you are without computer access but need to look up information!
  • Clinical Bag- I (of course) purchased a cutsie clinical bag to store my supplies. Designate one bag of your’s to be your clinical bag. This bag contains all of the aforementioned supplies with backup pens, penlights, notebooks, and batteries. Always leave it packed that way you don’t show up to clinical unprepared.
  • Pocket Organizer- This tiny contraption saved my butt! I would place my Vespa keys, credit card, and driver’s license within the velcro pouch and use the other sections to store my nursing supplies.
  • Bandage Scissors- I began to notice that most RNs don’t carry these around anymore. This made me stand out when I could supply the scissors and be helpful.
  • Watch- Spare yourself and make your watch is fluid resistant. I preferred mine to match my scrubs so I purchased a white Suunto Ambit. I love this watch and still use it to this day! It has a large digital time display that can be programmed into military time (crucial for nursing). Additionally, I could wipe it down after every shift and charge it when I got home. The watch has easy to access timer functions and a light. This watch never let me down!