what you ACTUALLY need as a Student Nurse

June 12, 2018

I remember when I first started studying nursing it seemed like the shopping list for books, equipment and uniforms was never ending. Looking back there was quite a few things I wish I hadn't bought and other things I initially omitted from the list that would have come in handy throughout my degree. 

Uniforms. This is one of the unavoidable items, for my course we had to buy the university branded nursing shirt, name badge and black closed toe shoe. I initially only bought one nursing shirt, but halfway through second year splurged and bought two more. I feel like I should have been realistic from the start, nursing isn't the cleanest job in the world and keeping up to date with washing whilst doing shift work is impossible, so I should have just bought the three shirts from the start. I also can’t stress enough the importance of investing in good footwear, you’re going to find yourself standing on your feet for long hours, so do your body a favour and go for the quality and often more expensive option. I personally LOVE my sketchers and are now on my second pair.

Equipment. It’s pretty imperative to own your own stethoscope, which in first year may have seemed like the biggest burden on your wallet but trust me, you’ll need it. Just for the record we were recommended to purchase the Littman stethoscope which I loved and all the doctors used them too so they must be pretty top notch. A fob watch is also a necessity you can find some really cheap ones here. From personal experience I can say that the silicone ones are much better than the more expensive metal ones which dangle way too much, spin around all the time and make an obnoxious amount of noise when your walk up and down the ward. (Wow, I didn’t realise up until this point how passionate I was about fob watches). Apart from that, there isn’t any other compulsory equipment you need to buy, but one thing that made placements so much easier was carrying a nurse’s pouch stocked full of pens, a torch and notepad... PLUS you’ll be your buddy nurse’s favourite student if you carry tape and scissors around with you, seriously I mean it.

I take back what I said about stethoscopes being the most expensive burden on your wallet, textbooks DEFINITELY take the cake. If I am being 100% honest, and I am saying this from a realist’s point of view, not the world’s most perfect university students view… you really don’t need to buy them. Spending $800 on textbooks for one semester of uni is actually crazy. The only books I opened more than once was my Drug book (you 100% need this and it will be your best friend) and my great big comprehensive Midwifery book. Everything else was a complete waste of my money. If you do feel like you need to by textbooks though (maybe you have a strict tutor or something?) you can always find them online or second hand for a fraction of the price, buy older editions OR make friends with someone and do a ‘I will buy the nursing essentials if you buy the physiology book’ kind of deal. Seriously though, if you can only afford one book, make sure it’s your medicationsbible, it really is going to be a god-send to you on your placements. 

Just remember don’t stress out about buying everything all in one hit, with shipping times these days you could literally wait and see what you need and have it at your door the following day.  Let me know if you have any questions about studying nursing or midwifery and I will be sure to get back to you ASAP! All the best for the most rewarding career, you’re going to love it!

Studying Nursing and Midwifery FAQ

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