Congratulations, you’ve chosen to become a nurse! Nursing can be quite a hectic job where you need to always be prepared for whatever’s coming next — and nursing school’s no different. As you get ready for your first clinical, here are some essentials not to forget.

Good Shoes

Nurses are on their feet for hours at a time, so owning a proper pair of shoes is essential. First, make sure they’re comfy — while clinicals may only be a few hours each, eventually you may have to take on a 12-hour shift or longer. That’s a lot of time to be on your feet! Additionally your shoes will need to be slip resistant. Puddles are rare in a hospital, but even dry tile can be slippery when you’re in a rush. This year’s top 3 nursing shoes are:

  • Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
  • Skechers for Work Women’s 76536 Sure Track Slip-Resistant Shoe
  • Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Slip Resistant Work Shoe


Even with the best pair of shoes, foot fatigue is inevitable when you’re standing and walking in them all day. Supplement your shoes with a quality pair of insoles to remedy this situation and pretend that you’re walking barefoot on clouds. (Okay, it won’t be that comfortable, but it will feel like clouds compared to the alternative.)

Comfortable Scrubs

Scrubs identify you as a nurse, and even with uniform colors the different styles enable you to express your personality. But you also want to make sure that your scrubs are helping you do your job. When choosing scrubs, look for a set with enough pockets to hold the tools that you need. Don’t neglect sizing, either — fit and comfort are priority when you’re wearing the same outfit day and night.

Reliable Writing Utensils

An excellent pen is another one of those items that nurses should always have on their person. Look for one that doesn’t run out of ink too quickly, doesn’t leak, and doesn’t bleed through paper. Also, opt for a clicky pen over one with a cap — no nurse has the time to fumble around with pen caps! Having a good pen will assuredly make filling out charts and other forms at least a little more pleasant.

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes are incredibly useful to keep in your pocket, as they enable you to make notes anytime and anywhere. And with a whole floor of patients to attend, they free you from having to remember every tiny detail until you can write it down in a more official setting. They are especially useful in emergencies.

High-Quality Stethoscope

Like shoes and pens, you can’t afford to skimp on your stethoscope. Not only will the sound be clearer than a lower-tier stethoscope, they are generally more comfortable thanks to higher-quality build materials. The top 3 best stethoscopes of 2017 are

  • 3M Littmann Master Cardiology
  • 3M Littmann Cardiology III
  • 3M Master Classic II

While this list does not contain every item your nursing school may require, it’s a good start. Having the above items will allow you to be prepared and comfortable throughout your shifts — even the long ones. If nursing is truly your passion, don’t skimp on the things that will free you to do your job to the best of your ability.