29 Nursing School Supplies for Students | Must-Haves List

High-quality nursing school supplies are essential for those that want to perform well in class. They allow students to carry their gear, take notes, prepare for exams and research topics, and remain connected.

As a result, these essentials are necessary for nursing students that need a convenient and organized college life. In addition, many of these supplies are must-haves for completing coursework and remaining timely.

This must-have guide will help you determine the essential nursing school supplies you need to succeed at college. It covers everything from clothing, college gear, and tools to lunch essentials, safety equipment, and technology.

Medical Clothing and Footwear

This section covers nursing students’ most common medical clothing and footwear supplies. It includes scrub uniforms, college-friendly nurse shoes, comfortable compression socks, and warm-up scrub jackets.

Although compression socks and warm-up jackets aren’t necessary nursing school supplies, they provide value and comfort.

Scrub Uniforms

Medical scrubs are the most recognizable clothing nurses wear. High-quality scrubs protect healthcare professionals from germs, fluids, debris, and other substances.

They’re also easy to clean, allowing nurses to quickly throw them in the wash without worrying about damage or cleanliness. As a result, picking the most reliable scrubs is extremely important for nursing school.

When choosing scrubs, ensure they’re comfortable, offer a relaxed fit that’s not too loose, and provide adequate pocket space. Also, consider the uniform scrub material to determine whether it’s shrink or wrinkle-resistant.

Ultimately, this will save you a lot of time when rushing to school, going to clinical, or leaving for work since you won’t need to iron clothing.

White Nurse-Friendly Shoes

High-quality footwear is an essential part of every nurse’s daily rounds. They’re indispensable for providing comfort, support, and protection around the feet and ankles.

It’s vital when working on hard floors and in areas with many hazards. In addition, most nursing schools and healthcare facilities require nurses to wear appropriate footwear for protection and sanitary purposes.

Nursing shoes must be durable, offer full foot coverage, and protect against spills and falling objects. Also, many nursing schools require students to wear white leather footwear.

  • It’s particularly true when doing clinicals. Therefore, you must determine whether your footwear is appropriate for nursing school, clinicals, and work.

Compression Socks

Compression socks are optional when it comes to nursing school supplies. However, they offer numerous benefits to poor blood circulation, veinous disorders, and other conditions.

They’re also used to speed up recovery from sore muscles and alleviate pain. In addition, compression socks improve comfort and rejuvenation throughout the day when combined with high-quality footwear.

When picking compression socks, check the compression level to ensure it will provide the appropriate compression for your needs. Also, determine whether the socks are graduated pressure.

Most compression socks offer information explaining compression level and type in greater detail. Finally, consult a foot specialist to determine the appropriate compression socks if you have a medical condition.

Warm-Up Scrub Jacket

Warm-up scrub jackets provide comfort and warmth to nurses working in cold or chilled environments. These jackets can be lifesavers for those that get easily cold during the fall/winter or work in an air-conditioned location.

Furthermore, they’re remarkably stylish and excellent for nursing students and professionals to dress up and mix and match their clothing.

When buying a warm-up scrub jacket, consider its material to ensure it’s water-resistant and fade-resistant. The fabric material is also essential for staying warm as thin, poorly insulted fabrics won’t’ adequately protect you.

Although some designs are more expensive, you’re only likely to buy one or two jackets. Therefore, picking a warm-up jacket you enjoy visually and functionally makes sense.

College Gear and Essentials

This section covers nursing students’ college gear, tools, and medical supplies. As a nursing student, you’ll need certain essentials to complete daily tasks and efficiently transition through school.

It includes items and accessories such as a backpack, stethoscope, notebooks, writing supplies, a planner, and more! Let’s go over the various essentials you need for nursing school!

Backpack/Nursing Bag

A high-quality backpack for nursing school is a must-have for nursing students taking multiple classes. They allow students to carry all their gear/tech, college essentials, and tools to class.

They’re also fashionable and convenient for those who embrace an aesthetically pleasing backpack design. However, selecting a backpack that provides the necessary functionality to accommodate your gear is essential.

When picking a backpack, make sure that it offers ample interior space. It’s essential to ensure that your books, binders, writing supplies, medical equipment, and iPad are easily stored and protected.



A high-grade clinical stethoscope is crucial for nursing students who want to perform well. The best stethoscopes provide adequate acoustic performance and reliability when performing assessments and health monitoring.

Furthermore, they offer durable construction, sturdy yet flexible tubing, and a stain-resistant finish. Ultimately, this is one device you’ll want to invest in as it’s essential during and after graduation.

When buying a stethoscope, acoustic performance, frequency range, and reliability are the most important. High-quality sound performance allows you to listen to various lung, heart, and bodily sounds.

When assessing or listening for hard-to-hear sounds that require an excellent chestpiece and quality components, it’s imperative. Also, ensure the tubing is well-designed and won’t wear out with regular use.

College Ruled Notebooks

College-ruled notebooks are one of those nursing school supplies you always need. These books are essential for any classroom, subject, or topic.

A well-designed ruled notebook will provide plenty of space and line height for writing, taking notes, and doodling. Moreover, it won’t get in the way while writing, be clunky, or fall apart quickly.

When picking a college-ruled notebook, consider the subject division. For example, some ruled notebooks are one, three, or five subjects. Determine which one is right for you to stay organized and adequately cover the subjects you studied.

Additionally, consider how it’s bound as some binds come loose or make writing difficult. Lastly, pick a college-ruled notebook with a sturdy cover that won’t rip, tear or fray to protect your report.

College Planner

College planners are another nursing school supply students carry around frequently. Again, this is because nursing school is challenging, confusing, and often complex.

Therefore, having a well-designed college planner will save you time and frustration with staying organized. This convenient essential allows you to keep track of important tasks, events, and topics throughout the weeks and months.

When selecting a college planner, check the dates to make sure it’s current. It ensures you accurately account for every day, month, and holiday. Also, determine how organized the planner is as different college planners have unique designs and structures.

Some college planners organize your schedule extensively, while others are relatively bare-bones. Therefore, you’ll want to purchase a college planner with the proper organizational structure.

Writing Supplies

Without quality writing supplies, you can’t take advantage of your college-ruled notebook or planner. Pens and pencils are the foundation of any good nursing school supplies list.

They allow students to quickly take notes, jot down ideas, and doodle thoughts. Being able to conveniently and rapidly write topics and lectures is extremely important. Therefore, having top-notch writing supplies is a must.

When buying writing supplies, make sure that the pen/pencil point is decently bold to prevent thin, uneven, and clunky writing. Furthermore, ensure the ink displays evenly and vividly to ensure your handwriting is legible and doesn’t blot or smear.

Finally, look for a comfortable grip, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of writing and want to remain content.

Badge Clip/Lanyard

Badge clips/lanyards are inexpensive nursing school supplies that allow you to keep your identification nearby. It’s vital for schools/universities that frequently check student I.D.s. Your I.D. is also necessary when purchasing books, doing clinicals, visiting guidance counselors, or doing anything that requires having your I.D. visible and within arm’s reach.

When selecting a badge clip/lanyard, it must comprise durable, water-resistant materials. It will ensure your badge stays clean, safe, and protected when moving around.

Also, consider corrosion-resistant and fade-resistant materials that keep the badge/lanyard working correctly over time. Finally, if you choose a retractable badge, it’s essential that the retractable part is sturdy and won’t wear out with frequent use.


Along with purchasing pens and pencils, you should also buy high-quality highlighters. These gems allow you to highlight important notes, passages, and topics, making them easier to find later.

Moreover, the various colors allow for greater customization, so you can color in topics and passages however you like. It’s excellent for super-organized nursing students that want to keep specific notes easily visible.

When choosing highlighters, make sure it offers a soft and versatile tip. It will allow you to adequately cover your lines with one or two strokes, which is essential for not overly saturating your pages.

Also, look for bright and colorful highlighters that help passages pop off the page so they can be easily read. It will make flipping through topics much easier and more convenient.

Sticky Arrows

Sticky arrows are another excellent organizational tool that keeps pages and topics easily accessible. The best sticky arrows provide distinct colors for organizing specific materials and use high-quality adhesive to remain in place over time.

They also don’t damage the page when removed or replaced with other sticky arrows or notes.

When buying sticky arrows, look for packages that offer numerous colors. It will make it easier to point out specific topics and notes and efficiently organize them.

Also, read the reviews to determine whether the sticky arrow adhesive is effective. It will help the arrows stick to the page and ensure you don’t lose track of important information you’ve highlighted.

Post-it Notes

Almost every college student that takes notes does or has used post-it notes to organize their college material. Post notes are great because they allow you to add valuable notes and space to your paper, planner, or notebook without ruining them.

They’re also easily removable, which is fantastic for students who regularly replace or update notes with new information.

When picking post-it notes, go for ones that come in bright pastel colors. It allows you to organize your notes by color to identify them quickly later. Additionally, you’ll want post-it notes that offer a decent adhesive design.

It’s because they’re notorious for coming loose and falling all over. Finally, pick a  suitable size for your notebooks and college planner for the best experience.


Penlights are essential for performing diagnostic tests and monitoring patient health. For example, a high-quality penlight allows nurses to check a patient’s neuro status, observe mucus membranes, and perform various oral tests.

When buying a penlight, look for a design with adequate brightness to ensure you correctly observe what you’re assessing. Also, consider designs that offer a pupil gauge to make it easier to determine a patient’s neuro status.

Ultimately, make sure you pick a penlight designed for medical use. You’ll want to avoid lights that are too bright for the patient or too dim for proper assessments.

Medical Clipboard

Medical clipboards are a common nursing essential that provides numerous benefits at school and the workplace. For instance, a good clipboard will provide a stable and comfortable writing surface.

It also allows you to quickly and securely conceal medical documents, which is essential to ensure proper OSHA compliance. As a nurse, you’ll handle many medical records, so you must protect them for patient privacy and safety.

When choosing a clipboard, look for one that has a smooth surface. It makes writing reports, updating medical records, and filling out forms easier. Furthermore, you’ll want a fully covered storage compartment design.

These are vital for keeping documents and healthcare records concealed. Finally, consider a cheatsheet design if you frequently forget calculations, dosages, or other information.

Bandage Scissors/Trauma Shears

Bandage scissors and trauma shears are essential for cutting bandages, fabrics, and other materials. These scissors/shears allow nurses to quickly remove materials to access the body to treat it properly.

That said, numerous designs comprise different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses.

When purchasing bandage scissors, determine the blade length and angle to ensure it easily slips under bandages. Alternatively, when picking a bandage scissor, you’ll want one sturdy with a sharp blade and reinforced hinge to cut through thick materials.

Each tool has its unique blade and properties. Therefore, you must determine your needs to purchase the best tool.

Sphygmomanometer/Blood Pressure Cuff

Sphygmomanometers/blood pressure cuffs are popular and valuable devices for monitoring blood pressure levels. A good blood pressure cuff will provide a snug, secure fit without causing irritation or discomfort.

Moreover, the sphygmomanometer must be accurate, easy to use, and quickly pump and release air with a valve switch.

When determining which sphygmomanometer/blood pressure cuff to buy, ensure it’s accurate, comfortable, and portable. In addition, the device should have high-quality nylon and velcro materials built to last.

Additionally, the gauge must be easily read with large high-contrast numbers so you can quickly perform assessments. Lastly, look for allergen-free/latex-free materials to minimize any allergic reactions.

Nursing Drug Handbook

A nursing drug handbook is a lifesaver in identifying drug dosages and types quickly. In addition, these helpful books provide indications, warnings, valuable information on potential adverse reactions, and other data to help you make the best decision.

Many nurses rely on nursing drug handbooks daily to perform their duties effectively and responsibly.

When selecting a nursing drug handbook, ensure it’s up to date, contains the latest brands, and provides valuable nursing considerations. It ensures you get the best of the book and makes better-informed decisions.

It’s also essential that the information is correct because you’ll rely on it to make important determinations.

Anatomy Flash Cards

Anatomy flashcards are invaluable when learning about and memorizing human anatomy. They provide bite-sized chunks of information in a colorful and organized manner.

As a result, students can quickly grasp complex topics and anatomical structures more efficiently. In addition, the card format makes it easier to select topics you’re struggling with, so you can focus specifically on those areas.

When buying anatomy flashcards look for designs that offer clear and concise drawings. In addition, the text should be easy to read, well-formatted, and optimized to take advantage of the card’s size.

Also, look for well-constructed cards as you’ll use them frequently and want to avoid unnecessarily damaging or tearing them.

NCLEX-RN Study Guide

NCLEX-RN Study Guides are among the most helpful nursing school supplies for students preparing for the NCLEX exam. A good NCLEX-RN book will save you a lot of frustration and help you study for your test.

It will save you time as the information will be well-formatted, in-depth, and simulate the actual exam accurately.

When deciding on an NCLEX-RN study guide, consult your university to ensure it’s reliable. You can also ask recent graduates and your professors which books they recommend.

Ensure the book uses the latest information, as the NCXLEC-RN exams update regularly. Saunders and Kaplan offer excellent study guides for nursing students. However,  do your research and purchase a study guide based on your needs.


This section covers nursing school students’ technology, accessories, and supplies. After all, nursing school isn’t complete without the right technology for studying, productivity, and relaxation.

The iPad allows students to work on reports, stay connected, and collaborate on projects. Moreover, Apple Watch and other smartwatches provide valuable functionality, health monitoring, and connectivity.

Laptop/iPad Pro

iPad Pro and Laptops are everywhere in nursing school settings. They’re essential for researching, writing college papers, collaborating on projects, and staying connected with fellow students and teachers.

It’s hard to imagine a nursing school without students using iPads and laptops. Nowadays, they’re not just convenient; they’re a must-have for college students that want to succeed.

When purchasing an iPad or laptop, ensure that it’s up to date and provides the software you need for nursing school. These devices can become slow or have issues running new apps if they’re several years old.

As a result, you’ll save yourself a headache and a lot of time by ensuring they have the latest technology and software updates!

Medical Watch

The Apple Watch and other popular medical-friendly watches are essential in nursing. These little gadgets allow nurses to keep track of time, manage numerous tasks and measure patient vitals.

Moreover, smartwatches such as the Apple Watch allow nurses to stay connected and communicate without phones. It’s beneficial for students unable to have their phones in class.

The previous links provide reviews of the Apple Watch and more traditional nurse-friendly watches for school and work. They offer everything from digital displays to analog designs with second-hand and large numbers.

Best of all, numerous price ranges accommodate most budgets. As a result, choosing an appropriate and affordable nurse-friendly watch should be reasonably straightforward.

Safety and Health

Nursing school supplies aren’t just about clothing and college gear. It’s also about protecting your health and safety while performing your duties effectively as a nurse. The following list covers everyday health and safety supplies for nursing students.

It includes face masks, hand sanitizers, and hand creams. Ultimately, each item has its place in school or work and provides lots of use for busy, hard-working nurses.

Face Mask

Face masks are all the rage nowadays. They’re stylish and convenient and protect you from unwanted germs and viruses. Depending on where you are, these necessities come in handy, and there are relatively inexpensive options for those on a budget.

Best of all, they provide safety and protection when moving about.

When buying face masks, make sure it comprises high-quality materials. It’s essential to ensure that they adequately block droplets and participles. Also, consider the filter rating if you work in a highly-populated area where the extra protection is beneficial.

Finally, if you’re going for aesthetics, ensure you don’t sacrifice looks for comfort and adequate protection. If it looks good but doesn’t adequately protect you, avoid it!

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is an essential item to have around at all times. This is because you’ll interact with various objects and people throughout the day, transmitting germs.

As a result, having a high-quality hand sanitizer helps reduce germs and keeps hands clean while minimizing dryness or causing unwanted irritation.

When deciding which hand sanitizer to purchase, look for one that has adequate disinfection (i.e., kills 99.99% of germs). Furthermore, look for a hand sanitizer that won’t dry out your skill or cause irritation.

It’s crucial if you’re using hand sanitizers often. Finally, ensure it doesn’t have an overpowering smell, as this can be distracting, especially during clinicals.

Hand Cream

Hand cream is one of busy students’ most vital nursing school supplies. In addition, it’s a must-have for many professional working registered nurses. Unfortunately, frequently washing hands leads to dryness, cracks, and even blisters.

As a result, your hands can become quite uncomfortable. Not only that, but you increase the risk of infection due to cracks and blisters! Therefore, high-quality hand cream is essential for adequate daily maintenance.

Check the ingredients to ensure it offers adequate moisture and protection when getting hand cream. It reduces the chances of cracks and blistering. It also helps hands improve faster if they’re damaged.

Finally, determine whether you need SPF, specific oils/butter, vitamins, and minerals to help your hands heal and recover.

Food and Snacks

This nursing school supplies list wouldn’t be complete without discussing essentials to keep you satiated and hydrated. Therefore, I’ve included some nurse essentials that will allow you to stay productive and focused throughout the day.

This section covers water bottles, meal prep food containers, and even a coffee maker to provide the energy you need to succeed.

Water Bottle

A reliable water bottle is one of the most valuable nursing school supplies for students. It’s because staying hydrated in school is necessary for consistency and focus. It’s also essential for digesting food more efficiently.

Although flavored and surgery drinks are delicious, few things compare to healthy, clean water on a hectic college day.

When choosing a water bottle, ensure it comes in a suitable size so you don’t need to refill it often. It will save you from taking numerous water break trips, distracting you, and taking time away from studying.

Also, look for high-quality, BPA-free, lightweight, and well-insulated materials. As a result, your water will stay fresh longer, and you’ll have less concern about running out of h2O.

Meal Prep Food Containers

If you’re looking to save money and stay satiated, owning several meal prep food containers is a must! These meal containers make carrying lunch/snacks much more convenient and comfortable. It also protects your food and keeps it fresh longer.

If college cafeteria meals are expensive or you prefer home-cooked meals, these containers will make life much easier.

When picking a meal prep food container, make sure it’s constructed of durable materials. It prevents it from breaking or coming loose inside your backpack or lunch.

Additionally, look for an airtight seal that protects your food and ensures the best possible shelf life. After all, you don’t want your food going lousy while in class. Finally, consider a thermal mug if you carry hot soup to school.

Coffee Maker

Purchasing a high-quality coffee maker is entirely optional. However, it can save you a lot of money over time. It’s especially true if you frequently go out to purchase expensive coffee.

Although I love drinking Starbucks and specialty coffee from my favorite baristas, it can get pricy. As a result, having a high-quality coffee maker at home saves you money and is more accessible when you’re getting ready for school.

When picking a coffee maker, make sure it offers the needed features. For example, it might include an espresso maker, a high-capacity container, and variable brew strength.

Also, consider buying a high-grade insulated thermal coffee travel mug to carry your coffee around easily. Being able to bring delicious coffee wherever you go is highly convenient. Plus, you can still purchase coffee beans from Starbucks if you want!

Hopefully, this must-have guide covers all the nursing school supplies you need to start. If you enjoyed this article, I would appreciate it if you shared it with someone who would benefit from it.