A Complete Nursing Essentials Guide for Students and Recent Grads

Posted by Kathy MacMannis on

A Complete Nursing Essentials Guide for Students and Recent Grads

A Complete Nursing Essentials Guide for Students and Recent Grads 

With over 4 million nurses in the US and student numbers growing annually, there's an exciting future for anyone looking to enter this rewarding medical field.

But are you fully prepared to launch your exciting career in nursing? Knowing where to start is not always easy, whether you're searching for stethoscopes, surgical masks, or scrubs.

But don't worry - this article is your complete guide to the nursing essentials you need to buy. We'll help you sort through the noise and pick out the must-haves that you need to get your career off to a great start. 


As a medical professional, having the right scrubs is essential. They give you a professional look, help keep you and your patients clean, and protect you from germs and contaminants.

Scrubs come in various colors and styles, made of lightweight and breathable fabrics.

When training, having the right scrubs is just as necessary. You need a set that you're comfortable wearing during clinical and practical training sessions. 


Do you know the sound a doctor makes when listening to your heart and lungs? That's a stethoscope – a medical device nurses use to diagnose and monitor their patients.

With it, they can detect abnormalities like heart murmurs, irregular breathing patterns, and heart rhythm problems. It's also used for checking your blood pressure and other vitals.

And, to make sure treatments are getting the desired outcome, nurses use it to follow up on the patient's condition. In short, a stethoscope is an essential tool for nurses.

Nursing Shoes

As a nurse, your feet are your source of livelihood - hours spent on your feet can cause fatigue and long-term injury over time.

Nursing shoes are designed to provide superior comfort and support, delivering slip-resistant soles, arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption.

Investing in nursing shoes can mean the difference between a successful shift and a hazardous one; they help reduce fatigue, prevent injuries, and support you on your journey through the long hours of nurse training.

Surgical Mask

To be a nurse, you must wear a surgical mask. It helps protect you and your patients by blocking possible germs, bacteria, viruses, and bodily fluids like saliva and blood.

It creates a barrier between your face and the environment. Having a surgical mask is a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of infection.


Your patients deserve a thorough health assessment - get the accuracy you need with a penlight.

This small flashlight is essential for medical examinations, allowing you to check your pupils, throat, and other body parts for any signs of infection or abnormalities. 

Blood Pressure Cuff

As a nurse, accurately measuring a patient's blood pressure is critical. That's where the blood pressure cuff comes in.

This device consists of a wrap-around cuff for the upper arm connected to a sphygmomanometer, which reads the cuff's pressure. With this essential tool, you'll be confident to measure a patient's blood pressure precisely.

Bandage Scissors

These special scissors are nurse bag essentials.

Bandage scissors cut through any medical bandage without accidentally piercing the skin. Their curved shape makes cutting through tough bandage material effortless. And their blunt tip ensures maximum safety.

With bandage scissors, nurses can quickly and safely remove bandages from their patients. That's essential for efficient patient care.

Medical Reference Books

Medical reference books are nursing student essentials. They offer a comprehensive overview of the medical field. These books cover everything from anatomy and physiology to diseases and pharmacology.

But they don't just provide essential facts: they also keep nurses up-to-date on the latest treatments and techniques. In other words, medical reference books offer everything needed to ensure nurses excel.

Clinical Calculator

You know how important getting the correct calculations are in medical care. One nurse essential to add to your list is a clinical calculator. It can help ensure you get the right answers every time.

These specialized calculators have specific features and functions for medical professionals.

You can calculate drug dosages, IV rates, and body mass index, to name a few. If you're a nurse in training, investing in a clinical calculator is vital to providing reliable and accurate patient care.

Nursing Clipboard

You know how vital nurses are to the workday when you enter the hospital. A nursing clipboard is their must-have tool – helping them stay organized, efficient, and ready to give the best care.

These lightweight and durable clipboards store essential patient information and documents. They give nurses critical access to the data they need.

With a nursing clipboard, nurses can trust that their workspace is always efficient, organized, and ready for whatever the day brings.

Medical Gloves

Protecting yourself and your patients is essential in any medical setting. Medical gloves play a vital role in keeping both safe.

By wearing gloves, you ensure that neither you nor your patient comes into contact with hazardous materials. Plus, gloves help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria between you and the patient.

Medical gloves are essential for any healthcare worker as part of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Disinfectant Wipes

You know the importance of reducing the spread of germs and bacteria. Disinfectant wipes are your go-to tool for this task.

Manufacturers pre-moistened these wipes with a powerful disinfectant solution. It makes it quick and easy to clean and disinfect surfaces that may come into contact with patients. 

They are also used to clean and disinfect medical equipment and tools, ensuring your risk of infection is minimal. Incorporating disinfectant wipes into your routine keeps yourself, your peers, and your patients safe.

Hand Sanitizer

As a nursing student, you must take every necessary step to protect yourself and others. That means stocking up on hand sanitizer. It is an alcohol-based liquid or gel.

Hand sanitizer helps reduce the number of germs on your hands, minimizing the risk of illnesses or infections spreading. You can practice good hygiene and prevent the spread of germs by having hand sanitizer at the ready.

Get Ready With the Best Nursing Essentials

The right nursing essentials will help you stay organized and excel at your job. So use this guide to help you get ready for your career. 

For more ideas on what to buy and some fantastic personalized nursing gifts, head to our shop to browse our latest collection