To Succeed in Nursing School, Use A Zebra Pen and Paper

To Succeed in Nursing School, Use A Zebra Pen and Paper

This post has been sponsored by Zebra Pen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

There is an astronomical amount of information to remember as a first-time nursing student or as a career nurse who returns to college or university for an advanced degree education. With all the meaty textbooks, scientific lectures, and in-patient clinical training, it can make even the most diligent learners feel overwhelmed.

Which leaves many nurses asking, what is the most effective way to retain all of this information?

As it turns out, research shows that putting your pen to paper (instead of typing notes on a computer) can help you take your education to the next level.

That is one reason why, as a nurse and healthcare freelance writer, using a Zebra STEEL G-402® Gel Retractable Pen has been my voice for notetaking. It is a pen made for savvy and confident professionals and it allows me to whittle down my most important thoughts on paper instantly.

In fact, all of my daily, weekly, and monthly goal-setting is freehand written with my STEEL G-402 and paper. My goals are what keep me focused and successful, both at work and in my personal life. Check out more information here to see how you can Choose Different.

Here Are 3 Ways Using a Zebra Pen and Paper Will Help You Succeed in Nursing School:

1. Notetaking with a pen boosts memory and helps you retain more information

Taking notes with a laptop has become the norm for our tech-savvy generation of students who want to refer back to every detail that a professor says in class. However, this may not be the best way to learn when it comes to notetaking. In fact, from a learning and memorization standpoint, typing may cause you to remember less compared to taking handwritten notes in class.

A recent study has shown that students using laptops were able to take an overflowing amount of word-for-word notes, but they performed worse when tested on the ideas compared to students who handwrote notes. Writing handwritten notes helps with cognition, especially for students learning complex medical information.

To Succeed In Nursing School, Use A Zebra Pen And Paper

2.  Freehand writing with a pen and paper sharpens critical thinking

My professors in college reminded us that the nurses who succeed are the ones who learn how to “think critically” in school. In other words, take the facts and form a judgment. It makes sense to me now—every ATI test in nursing school, as well as the nursing boards, are almost ALL critical thinking/multiple-choice questions.

In the real world, nurses must take the medical facts and form a judgment on how to treat the patient in the correct order. Lives often depend on it. Handwriting allows you to “critically think” about data more effectively than typing. You can form more transparent connections between thoughts, instead of just typing out lecture information verbatim. Another way using pens can help you learn more critically is by using colored pens to organize your thoughts on paper.

 

 

3.Freehand writing can help you manage the stress that comes with nursing school

The benefits of putting pen to paper do more than improve brain health and enhance learning in the classroom.  Your mental health can benefit from journaling sessions. Expressive writing can help decrease stress, lower blood pressure, improve organ function, and improve your mood. All good things for stressed-out nursing students!

Freehand journaling is a tool that you can use throughout your nursing program and into your nursing career to help keep your mind in a positive state. In fact, writing with a pen increases neural activity in certain areas of the brain in a similar way to meditation.

To thrive in the nursing profession, you must take care of yourself first. Being a nurse in charge of someone’s life can be extremely stressful, especially when dealing with very sick patients. Consider starting a daily journal to help you manage the anxiety that can arise from the responsibility of caring for patient’s lives.

Why I use a Zebra Pen STEEL G-402 gel pen as a nurse and freelance healthcare writer:

I keep a  STEEL G-402 and a notebook in my bag, at my desk, and on the side table next to my bed. That way, I can write a quick note to myself at any time. If my mind throws out an idea that I want to remember, I jot it down quickly with my STEEL G-402 so I can remember it later when I sit down to write.

In addition to supplementing my writing and research, the STEEL G-402 is a(n):

  • Affordable writing accessory for nurses
  • Heavier weighted pen, which makes it more comfortable to write with for more extended periods
  • Durable pen with a steel metal barrel so that it doesn’t fall apart like other cheap pens in the hospital

In the nursing profession, where I wear the same scrub uniform as everyone else, there are very few ways that I can distinguish myself as an individual.  So, I show it with my zany compression socks, my nifty coffee mug, and my stylish Zebra Pens! Check out more information here to see how you can Choose Different.

The Zebra Pen: A lifelong learning tool for nurses

Working nurses will tell you that nursing school will be the hardest thing you ever do. But by preparing yourself with the right tools to succeed and studying as efficiently as possible, you will tackle your knowledge base with the esteem of a seasoned nurse.

Just remember to keep your laptop close, but your pen closer.

Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials:  The Complete List

Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials: The Complete List

As an experienced nurse who has many years of experience taking care of ER, critical care, and telemetry patients, I have learned that I must be prepared for my shifts.  Nurses need to be ready for just about anything, and having the right nurse supplies to succeed has never been more critical.

The nurse essentials on this list are the same things that I use daily and make my life so much easier as a busy nurse.   Keep your professional game on point, and stay prepared for whatever your shift will throw at you!

(This list includes affiliate links.  See our disclosure page for more information here.)

The Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials: The Complete List:

#1.  SCRUBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scrubs are the universal uniform for nurses for a good reason.  They are very comfortable, designed for long hours of work, allow for easy assess to tools (with pockets), and they are durable to withstand frequent washing,

Also, scrubs make it easier for patients to identify them.  If you can choose the scrubs at your workplace, then you have any color options available.  They offer a way to stand out from your co-workers as well.

#2.  STETHOSCOPE

 

ORDER NOW

One of the most important nurse supplies is the stethoscope.  Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a quality stethoscope.  I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since.  They are available in many different colors and have a non-chill rim, so your cold stethoscope doesn’t you don’t shock your patients and make them uncomfortable.

#3.  STETHOSCOPE IDENTIFICATION BADGE

ORDER NOW

With so many stethoscopes in the hospital setting, it is very easy to get yours mixed up with another nurse.  Having a stethoscope identification badge is the best way to prevent this.

#4.  STETHOSCOPE CASE

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A stethoscope case helps to keep your scope clean and in excellent condition throughout an entire nursing career.

#5.  FANNY PACK

 

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You can use a fanny pack each shift to carry nurse supplies, including trauma shears, alcohol swabs, pens, a penlight, notes, and extra needles and syringes.   Having a “hip pack” can help prevent nurses from having to make additional trips back to the supply room for things they might have forgotten.   Nurses need to have the tools they need fast.  Go ahead and embrace your inner nurse dork with a fanny pack.

#6.  APPLE WATCH 

 

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The Apple Watch is a stopwatch, a timer, and allows you to set the alarm to remind yourself of tasks you may forget when your shift gets busy.  It also makes it possible to receive and send text messages without having to use your cell phone on the unit

But what many nurses love most about the Apple Watch is that it records how much you stand, exercise, and move throughout your shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings).  You will also know how many total steps you walked in a shift. It’s nice to know how much exercise you get in the workplace!

#7.  WATCH WITH A SECOND HAND

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If the Apple Watch is too expensive, consider getting a less expensive watch with a second hand.  Having a second-hand makes it possible for nurses to track important patient vital signs such as respiratory and heart rate.

#8.  TRAUMA SHEARS

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As an ER nurse, the Raptor Shears are my absolute favorite nurse tool.  They look a lot like a fancy pair of scissors.  But make no mistake, these very functional and handy shears are 6 tools wrapped into one, including:

  • medical shears
  • strap cutter
  • ring cutter
  • ruler
  • oxygen tank wrench
  • carbide glass breaker

Many nurses in the emergency room setting use Raptor Shears because they are so functional. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.   They also have a 25-year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer.

#9.  NURSE CLIPBOARD

ORDER NOW

Keeping a nurse clipboard with you is an easy, secure way to keep confidential documents and medical notes with you.  They give you something to write on while getting a shift report or while in a patient’s room.  They also help you store needed writing tools, such as your retractable pen or highlighter.

#10.  POCKET ORGANIZER (to organize your nurse supplies)

 

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If a fanny pack isn’t something you are into, you may want to consider getting a pocket organizer to store needed nurse supplies and tools.  Knowing you have the supplies you need within your reach at all times will not only keep you calmer in stressful situations, but you will appear more professional as well.

#11. RETRACTABLE PENS

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Retractable 4 color pens are great for color-coding your work notes or written patient information.  Having retractable pens are also lovely to have for when you are studying for certifications!  You can keep a few in your workbag, pocket organizer, or fanny pack.

#12.  PEN LIGHT

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You will need a nurse penlight for assessing extraocular movements.  And these are especially great because they have pupil sizes right on the pen for a more accurate assessment.  You can’t complete a neurological exam correctly without them.

 #13.  VEIN FINDER

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Many hospital units have vein finders for nurses to use, but it is still nice to have your own because they always seem to be lost or already in use.  If you are working on a unit where you will be starting frequent IV’s (such as the ER), this vein finder is a nice-to-have item.

Patients need IVs so we can give them medications and IV fluids.   You could go look for a vein finder on the unit, but why waste that precious time when you can carry one with you?

#14.  NURSING BRAIN SHEETS

Link text

The nurse brain is an extremely important nurse essential for the organization during a busy shift.  Keep your patient’s information organized and in one place.   These brain sheets include areas for: vital signs, medication times, assessment notes, labs, patient history, and space for free text and notes.  This also makes a great gift for new graduate nursing students.  

#15.  HAND SANITIZER

ORDER NOW

To prevent the spread of infections, nurses wash their hands dozens of times each shift and often use hand sanitizer in-between.  Travel hand sanitizers are always great to have extra with you in case you need it.

#16.  HAND LOTION

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With nurses washing their hands so frequently every shift, it is no wonder that so many suffer from dry skin.  Whenever possible, use hand lotion to prevent dry, chapped hands and protect the barrier of your skin.  Many nurses keep extra in their nursing bags and car to use whenever they remember.

#17.  HIGHLIGHTER

 

ORDER NOW

Highlighters are useful for organizing patient medical information, highlighting discharge education, and studying for your specialty certifications.  You can even hook these on your badge reel to have handy and make sure you don’t lose it.

#18.  DRUG REFERENCE GUIDE

ORDER NOW

Keep a portable nursing drug handbook to make it easy to find the most vital information on the drugs that you administer as a nurse most frequently.  This is an excellent tool for helping you learn more about medications while you are on the go and help keep your patients safe.

You can also lookup generic and trade names for drugs, find black box warnings, understand safety information for medications, and help you teach patients about potential side effects of medications.

#19.  NURSING BAG (to keep your nurse supplies organized in one place)

ORDER NOW

There are a lot of things nurses need to keep with them:  ID, wallet, nursing supplies, notebooks, planners, other personal items and nurse supplies that you might need.  Your nursing shifts will be stressful enough as it is, so you will want to keep all of your belongings organized.  A great nursing bag will help you keep all of your supplies in one place, so you don’t forget anything at home.

#20.  BADGE HOLDER

ORDER NOW

Having a badge holder makes it easy for you to display your ID to patients and other staff members in the hospital.  Badge holders allow you to let others know who you are and they don’t get in the way of your work the way lanyards do.  There are also several personalized options to choose from.

#21.  COMPRESSION SOCKS

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If there is anyone who needs to be wearing compression socks, its nurses. After all, we are on our feet for 12 hours a shift!  Compression socks are so beneficial for nurses because they prevent or reduce varicose veins, they improve blood flow, and they decrease the risk of blood clots.  Many nurses even say that wearing compressions socks make their legs feel energized, even after a shift.

#22.  HYDRO FLASK WATER BOTTLE

ORDER NOW

Many nurses don’t drink nearly enough water during their 12-hour shifts and end up going home wholly dehydrated.  Therefore, nurses need a great sealable water bottle with them for each shift.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is a high-quality water bottle that can be used for many years and still look brand new.  It is made out of food-grade stainless steel and is BPA free.  Also, it has excellent insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle.

But the best part about the Hydro Flask Water Bottle is the TempShield Insulation, which keeps beverages at the same temperature for many hours (hot drinks for 6 hours & cold drinks for up to 24 hours!). 

#23.  COFFEE MUG (with sealable lid)

ORDER NOW

Regular coffee mugs won’t work for busy nurses working with patients.  Nurses, who are seldom in the same place for more than a few minutes, must have a mug with a sealable lid.

The Hydro Flask coffee mug is a popular choice among many nurses.  It has a leak-proof lid (when closed) for on-the-go activities.  Also, drinks stay hot up to 7 hours and cold up to 18 hours with vacuum insulation.  

#24.  LUNCH BAG

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“I just love eating hospital cafeteria food,” said no nurse ever.  Most nurses learn very quickly that they need to prepare and pack their food for two reasons – hospital food usually isn’t delicious, and packing a healthy lunch in advance ensures that the nurse will eat healthier throughout their shift.  Otherwise, when lunch comes, and they are so exhausted, there is a chance they might reach for some not-so-healthy options.

Use a lunch bag that is waterproof, leak-proof, super easy to clean and lightweight.   

#25.  NURSING SHOES

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Nurses are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces -especially in the hospital setting.  The floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.  Nurses must have great shoes because not having them can be an occupational hazard.

Nursing shoes also need to give great support, protect your back, reduce stress on joints, and be comfortable to wear for long periods.

#26.  SPHYGMOMANOMETER

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A sphygmomanometer is a tool that nurses can use to take manual blood pressure measurements and to have an accurate, reliable instrument to diagnose hypertension accurately.  This is a great tool to have in case you need to get a manual blood pressure.

#27.  NURSE CLOGS

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Clogs are a staple of the nurse uniform.  They can provide nurses with better support to help them minimize foot, ankle, knee, and back pain, which is very important as nurses can spend long hours on their feet with little downtime.

#28.  INFRARED THERMOMETER

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Your hospital will have a specific type of thermometer that you must use on patients.  But as nurses, it is great to have a way to monitor a patient’s vital signs if we ever find ourselves in an emergency away from the hospital.  Having an infrared thermometer is a great non-invasive way to monitor a temperature away from the hospital.

#29.  PULSE OXIMETER

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The pulse oximeter is a non-invasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation.  If you work in a hospital or other healthcare facility, you will use your facility’s pulse oximeters.  However, many nurses have a supply kit in case they need to check a patient’s vital signs in an emergency away from the healthcare setting, in which case, a mobile pulse oximeter is a great tool to have.

#30.  LAPTOP COMPUTER

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Nurses are lifelong learners and need personal computers to research and study.  By achieving advanced certifications within your specialty, you can advance your career, earn more money, improve your nursing skills, and become an expert in your field.  In order to do that you need a laptop computer to do your work.  The healthcare environment is continually changing, and there is always something new to learn!

In conclusion

Nursing is a challenging profession, but if you work hard and have the tools you need to succeed, you will excel an continue to move your career in an upwards direction.  Stay organized, keep learning, and take care of yourself in the process (just like how you take good care of your patients).

Most of all, know that you are a valuable contributor to what has been considered the most trusted profession for decades.  Best of luck to you, nurse!

Additional recommended reading:

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive a FREE COPY of The Nurses Guide To Self Care.

10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts (in 2020)

10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts (in 2020)

Nurse moms are pretty incredible humans.

Being a nurse or a mom is hard work in and of itself.  Add the two together and you have one incredibly hard-working, compassionate, multitasking superhero with skills that can save lives.

This holiday season why not give gifts that recognize both talents?  The one that is raising children to be strong, capable adults and the one selflessly helping total strangers.  After all, there is a fair chance that many nurse moms are not being appreciated or recognized for the dedication and hard work they put in, day after day.

The motherhood/nurse combination is a challenging balance.    Next time you run into a nurse mom who looks a little tired, know there is a good chance she hasn’t slept in a week.  And give her a high-five.

We hope you enjoy your holiday season and spend lots of quality time with your loved ones!

*This post about gifts for nurse moms contains affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.

10 Fun Holiday Gifts For Nurse Moms

The Ultimate List Of Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts

 

1.  I’m a Mom and a Nurse Nothing Scares Me Pink Mug

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2.  Keep Calm My Mom Is A Nurse Onesie

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3.  Keep Calm I’m A Nurse And A Mom Mug

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4.  Safety First, Drink With A Nurse 15 oz Wine Glass

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Additional recommend reading:

5.  I’m A Mom And Nurse Nothing Scares Me Shirt

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6My Mom Is A Nurse Dog T-Shirt

 

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7.  Boss Lady Mug

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8.  Wife Mom Nurse 16 oz Tumbler

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9.  Wife, Mom, Nurse Retractable Badge Reel

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10.  Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag For Women

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Additional recommended reading:

 

Top 30+ Nursing School Supplies & Essentials (2020)

Top 30+ Nursing School Supplies & Essentials (2020)

So you want to be a nurse and are thinking about the nursing school supplies you will need.  First of all, congratulations!  You are embarking into an incredible profession, filled with an enormous amount of career opportunities.   As a nurse, you will give back to your communities, help patients during some of the most challenging times of their lives, help the sick regain their health, relieve patient’s pain, and even save lives.  You will learn to be a healer in your community.

But to learn as a student nurse, there are several nursing school supplies and tools that you will need to have.  Most of the nurse essentials on this list, you will be able to continue to use after you graduate and throughout your career as a nurse.  So it is crucial to think of this list as an investment towards your entire career in nursing – not just as items you will use short-term.

Try to stay as organized as you can and remember to take good care of yourself (just as you will be instructing your patients to do!).  Without further ado, here is the essential list of the top 30+ nursing school supplies you will need for your nursing education.

(This list includes affiliate links.  See our disclosure page for more information here.)

The Top 30+ Nursing School Supplies: The Ultimate List

#1.  STETHOSCOPE

 

ORDER NOW

One of the most important supplies for nursing students is the stethoscope. You will be required to have one with you for all clinical rotations and skills labs.

Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a quality stethoscope.  I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since.  They are available in many different colors and have a non-chill rim, so your cold stethoscope doesn’t you don’t shock your patients and make them uncomfortable.

#2.  STETHOSCOPE IDENTIFICATION BADGE

ORDER NOW

It is a good idea to label all of your nursing supplies, especially ones that are more expensive.

With so many nursing students carrying stethoscopes into skills labs and clinical rotations at the hospital, it is effortless to get yours mixed up with another nurse.  Having a stethoscope identification badge is the best way to prevent this.

#3.  STETHOSCOPE CASE

ORDER NOW

Keep your stethoscope in a designated place where it will stay clean and in good condition.  A stethoscope case helps to keep your scope clean and in good working condition throughout an entire nursing career.

#4.  SCRUBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

ORDER NOW

Scrubs are the universal uniform for nurses for a good reason.  They are very comfortable, designed for long hours of work, allow for easy assess to tools (with pockets), and they are durable to withstand frequent washing,

Most schools require that students all wear the same color of scrubs.  Fortunately, every brand of scrubs has a variety of different scrubs to choose from.

#5.  NURSE CLIPBOARD

ORDER NOW

The key to being a successful nursing student is staying organized and being prepared to learn.  The nurse clipboard is an essential nursing student supply to keep your confidential documents and medical notes with you.  Nursing clipboards also give you something to write on while getting a shift report or while in a patient’s room.  They also help you store needed writing tools, such as your retractable pen or highlighter.

#6.  FANNY PACK

 

ORDER NOW

Students in the clinical setting need a way to get to their nursing supplies fast.  The fanny pack is a great solution for this.  You can keep it with you each clinical rotation to carry several nurse supplies, including trauma shears, alcohol swabs, pens, a penlight, notes, and extra needles and syringes.   Also, having a “nurse hip pack” can help prevent nurses from having to make additional trips back to the supply room for things they might have forgotten.

#7.  POCKET ORGANIZER (to organize your nursing school supplies)

 

ORDER NOW

For some nursing students, the fanny pack may feel too bulky.  If that is the case for you may want to consider getting a pocket organizer to store needed nursing school supplies and tools.  Knowing you have the essentials you need within your reach at all times will not only keep you calmer in stressful situations, but you will appear more professional to boot.

#8. RETRACTABLE PENS

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Color-coding your notes can be a helpful way for nursing students to memorize terminology, medications, anatomy, or NCLEX test preparation.

Retractable 4 color pens are also great for color-coding your work notes or written patient information. Also, having retractable pens are lovely to have for when you are studying for certifications!  You can keep a few in your workbag, pocket organizer, or fanny pack.

#9.  PEN LIGHT

ORDER NOW

The penlight is a staple nursing student tool for assessments.  You will need a nurse penlight for assessing extraocular movements.  And these are especially great because they have pupil sizes right on the pen for a more accurate assessment.  You can’t complete a neurological exam correctly without them.

 #10.  VEIN FINDER

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Learning how to start IV’s as a nursing student is one of the most challenging skills to learn.  It takes a lot of practice, but over time your skills will improve.  A vein finder is a helpful tool for nursing students to visualize a vein, so you know exactly where your target is.  The vein finder is also a helpful learning tool in the classroom where you can take turns observing, feeling for vessels, and using the vein finder to help visualize where you are going to insert your needle.

#11.  NURSING BRAIN SHEETS

Link text

Nursing students must learn how to organize their patient’s information cohesively during clinical rotations.  The nurse report sheet notebook helps you keep your patient’s information organized and in one place.   These brain sheets include areas for: vital signs, medication times, assessment notes, labs, patient history, and space for free text and notes.  Nurse report sheet notebooks also make a great gift for new graduate nursing students.  

#12.  LAPTOP COMPUTER

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The laptop computer is an essential nursing supply for obvious reasons.  But your education in the nursing profession will go far beyond the classroom and continue throughout your whole career.

Nurses are lifelong learners.  Not long after nursing school, you will be achieving advanced certifications within your specialty, and possibly get an MSN or doctoral degree in nursing.   To do that, you need a dependable laptop computer to do your work.

 

#13.  APPLE WATCH 

 

ORDER NOW

The Apple Watch is a stopwatch, a timer, and allows you to set the alarm to remind yourself of tasks as a nursing student in the hospital setting.  It also makes it possible to receive and send text messages without having to use your cell phone on the unit.

But what many nurses love most about the Apple Watch is that it records how much you stand, exercise, and move throughout your shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings).  You will also know how many total steps you walked during your clinical rotations.

The Apple Watch is a great nursing school tool that will serve you well into your nursing career, both professionally and from a personal health standpoint.

#14.  WATCH WITH A SECOND HAND

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If the Apple Watch is too expensive, consider getting a less expensive watch with a second hand.  Having a second-hand makes it possible for nursing students to track important patient vital signs such as respiratory and heart rate.

#15.  TRAUMA SHEARS

ORDER NOW

As most ER nurses will attest, the Raptor Shears are one of the greatest nursing student supplies to have.  And that you will use them throughout your entire career (these have a 25-year limited warranty).

Raptor Shears are very functional, and handy shears are six tools wrapped into one, including medical shears, strap cutter, ring cutter, ruler, oxygen tank wrench, and carbide glass breaker.

You can hook raptor shears to a belt or secure it to your scrubs using the pocket clip.

#16.  HAND SANITIZER

ORDER NOW

Hand sanitizer is the number one nursing student supply for preventing the spread of infection.  As a nursing student, you will wash your hand’s dozens of times a day and often use hand sanitizer in-between.  Travel hand sanitizers are always great to have in your nursing bag at all times.

#17.  HAND LOTION

ORDER NOW

With nurses washing their hands so frequently every shift, it is no wonder that so many suffer from dry skin.  Whenever possible, use hand lotion to prevent dry, chapped hands and protect the barrier of your skin.  Many nurses keep extra in their nursing bags and car to use whenever they remember.

#18.  HIGHLIGHTER

 

ORDER NOW

Highlighters are a useful nursing school supply for organizing and memorizing medical terminology and studying for exams.  You can even hook these on your badge reel to have handy and make sure you don’t lose them.

#19.  DRUG REFERENCE GUIDE

ORDER NOW

Keep a portable nursing drug handbook to make it easy to find the most vital information on the drugs that you administer as a nurse most frequently.  This is an excellent tool for helping you learn more about medications while you are on the go and help keep your patients safe.

You can also lookup generic and trade names for drugs, find black box warnings, understand safety information for medications, and help you teach patients about potential side effects of medications.

#20.  HYDRO FLASK WATER BOTTLE

ORDER NOW

Many nursing students don’t drink nearly enough water and end up going home after class or clinical rotations wholly dehydrated.  Therefore,  a great sealable water bottle is an essential nursing student essential to always keep with you.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is a high-quality water bottle that can be used for many years and still look brand new.  It is made out of food-grade stainless steel and is BPA free.  Also, it has excellent insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle.

But the best part about the Hydro Flask Water Bottle is the TempShield Insulation, which keeps beverages at the same temperature for many hours (hot drinks for 6 hours & cold drinks for up to 24 hours!). 

#21.  COFFEE MUG (with sealable lid)

ORDER NOW

Regular coffee mugs can spill in the classroom or clinical setting. It is important to have a mug with a sealable lid.

The Hydro Flask coffee mug is a popular nursing school essential for those who are pulling all-nighters to finish papers or cramming for exams.    It has a leak-proof lid (when closed) for on-the-go activities.  Also, drinks stay hot up to 7 hours and cold up to 18 hours with vacuum insulation.  

#22.  NURSING BAG (to keep your nursing school supplies organized in one place)

ORDER NOW

There are a lot of supplies that nursing students need to keep with them:  ID, wallet, pens, highlighters, a computer, notebooks, planners, or other personal items that you might need.   A great nursing bag will help you keep all of your nursing school supplies in one place, so you don’t forget anything at home.

#23.  BADGE HOLDER

ORDER NOW

Having a badge holder makes it easy for you to display your ID to patients and other staff members in the hospital.  Badge holders allow you to let others know who you are, and they don’t get in the way of your work the way lanyards do.  There are also several personalized options to choose from.

#24.  COMPRESSION SOCKS

ORDER NOW

If you are a nursing student, then you should get used to wearing compression on your legs now. Compression socks are so beneficial for nurses and students because they prevent or reduce varicose veins, they improve blood flow, and they decrease the risk of blood clots.  Many nurses even say that wearing compressions socks make their legs feel lighter, even after a shift.

#25.  LUNCH BAG

ORDER NOW

Many nursing students learn very quickly that they need to prepare and pack their food for two reasons – hospital food usually isn’t delicious, and packing a healthy lunch in advance ensures that the nurse will eat healthier throughout their shift.  Otherwise, when lunch comes, and they are stressed and tired from studying, there is a chance they might reach for more unhealthy choices.

You can keep your ‘lunch bag” habit well into your career as a nurse as well.  Use a lunch bag that is waterproof, leak-proof, super easy to clean, and lightweight.   

#26.  NURSING SHOES

ORDER NOW

Nursing students must have great shoes because not having them can be an occupational hazard.  Hospital floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.

Nursing shoes also need to give great support, protect your back, reduce stress on joints, and be comfortable to wear for long periods.

#27.  SPHYGMOMANOMETER

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A sphygmomanometer is a tool that nursing students can use to take manual blood pressure measurements and to have an accurate, reliable instrument to diagnose hypertension accurately.  This is a great nursing school supply because it is so important to know how to take a manual blood pressure if you need to.  Many experienced nurses forget because they haven’t done one in so many years.

#28.  NURSE CLOGS

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Clogs are a staple of the nursing student uniform.  They can provide better support to help them minimize foot, ankle, knee, and back pain, which is very important as nurses can spend long hours on their feet with little downtime.

Many nursing students (as well as experienced nurses) will switch off between clogs and other sturdy nurse shoes.

#29.  INFRARED THERMOMETER

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Your hospital will have a specific type of thermometer that you must use on patients.  But as students and nurses, it is great to have a way to monitor a patient’s vital signs if we ever find ourselves in an emergency away from the hospital.  Having an infrared thermometer is a great non-invasive way to monitor a temperature away from the hospital.

#30.  PULSE OXIMETER

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The pulse oximeter is a non-invasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation.  If you work in a hospital or other healthcare facility, you will use your facility’s pulse oximeters.  However, many nurses have a supply kit in case they need to check a patient’s vital signs in an emergency away from the healthcare setting, in which case, a mobile pulse oximeter is a great tool to have.

 

In conclusion

Going to nursing school is a challenge (many say its the hardest thing they have ever done!), but if you work hard and have the right nursing school supplies you need to succeed, you will excel in your studies and make a great nurse.  Stay organized, keep learning, and take care of yourself in the process – the same way you will be taking care of your patients.

Most of all, know that you are a valuable contributor to what has been considered the most trusted profession for decades – nursing.  Best of luck to you, student nurse!

Additional recommended reading:

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Nike Air Zoom Pulse:  Nike Shoes For RN Athletes

Nike Air Zoom Pulse: Nike Shoes For RN Athletes

A sports shoe designed with the needs of nurses in mind?

There are thousands of different types of shoes on the market designed for various athletes.

But until now, sports shoes didn’t exist for nurses.  (Even though the physicality required to be a nurse can be just as strenuous as any other athletic performance – but without the recognition).

The Nike Air Zoom Pulse is here and will be the first athletic performance shoe for medical professionals.

Nike Air Zoom Pulse: NIke Shoes For Nurses and Other Medical Professionals

Nike Air Zoom Pulse: Nike Shoes For Nurses & Other Medical Professionals

Nursing is a sport of its own

It requires the same hustle, grit, and tenacity that many athletes are portrayed as having every single day in the media.  But its more than just sweat and tears – nurses are also saving lives and helping humankind in the process.

There are 3 million nurses in the United States – many struggle with chronic foot pain, back pain, and generalized pain as a result of the intensity of our careers. Primarily because, as nurses, we are on our feet for so many hours a day.

In fact, as an Emergency Room nurse, I am always standing and moving for 12 hours a shift.  And after only seven years in the profession, I am already struggling with chronic back and knee pain.

The Nike Air Zoom Pulse shoes: occupational hazard prevention for nurses?

Nike says this shoe is for the everyday hero:  nurses, doctors, home health providers and other medical professionals who are working round-the-clock to provide patient care.

At first glance, the shoe appears to be a hybrid of a cross trainer and a clog – making it easy to slip on and off, but still sturdy like a tennis shoe.

They are lace-less, which most nurses can appreciate.  Working in the hospital setting means coming in contact with fluids and nasty germs – and shoelaces are impossible to get clean.

Also, Nike states on its website that the upper section of the shoes have a protective coating, which makes them easy to clean.

Working in the hospital setting can get slippery

It is no surprise that not wearing a slip-resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard for nurses. We are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces.  The floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended falls.

It happens so frequently that some facilities even pay for nurses to receive a new pair of nursing shoes every six months!  In turn, this helps protect nurses from injuries that could have otherwise resulted in an injury and disability from work.

The #1 feature of these shoes that caught my attention was how NIKE is promoting them to be especially slip-resistant on hard surfaces, such as hospital floors.  (I once slipped in a patients room and sprained my ankle when I was wearing running shoes that I had been wearing for only a month).

Nike Air Zoom Pulse: NIke Shoes For Nurses and Other Medical Professionals

The NIKE Air Zoom Pulse shoe: designed with medical professionals in mind and engineers even worked one-on-one with nurses in the hospital setting during development.

Product testing with nurses in a hospital

What I appreciate most about what I have read about this shoe is that it has been tested on actual medical professionals during working hours at a hospital.  All of their product testing was done at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital located in Portland, Oregon.  The NIKE Air Zoom Pulse designers worked with nurses in the healthcare environment to create a shoe that works for long stretches of standing and quick movement when emergencies strike.

Can a shoe be both comfortable for long stretches of standing and versatile enough to support the fast movements required in emergencies?  The NIKE website states that the Air Zoom Pulse shoes have the following features

  • Easy to get on and off
  • Super simple to clean
  • Have the right cushioning and traction to secure the foot in all hospital conditions
  • Slip-resistant “water dispersive traction”

Nike Air Zoom Pulse:  game-changer for the nurse athletes?

Time will tell how well these perform on nurses, but I am very interested in finding out.   The release date for the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is on December 6, 2019. It is perfectly timed for right before the holidays.

If you are a medical professional who has wear shoes in the workplace, please share your thoughts!

Additional recommended reading:

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4 Helpful Nurse Burnout Prevention Products

4 Helpful Nurse Burnout Prevention Products

(This post about nurse burnout prevention products contains affiliate links.   You can find our disclosure page here.)

Nursing is not a career for the faint of heart. Humans are living longer with more chronic conditions, and nurses are working hard to care for more and more patients. But despite the many challenges, for most of us, nursing is a calling.  We chose this profession so that we could help patients during the most challenging times in their lives.

But who is responsible for taking care of nurses?

The truth is, being a nurse is not for the faint of heart.  It is an extremely physical and emotional career, and nurses deal with stressful situations such as traumatic accidents, chronic illnesses, demanding patients and families, and even death.  We’ve pretty much seen it all and then some.

After all, they don’t say that nurses are on the front line of healthcare for nothing!

Nurse burnout prevention has never been so important.

Nurse burnout prevention needs to be a bigger priority in the profession.  Nurses don’t want to also end up as patients too, but due to lack of time for self-care, it happens.

Fortunately, there are ways that nurses can help to rectify some of the wear-and-tear that we do to our bodies.  By taking care of ourselves first, we can continue to give great attention to our patients and their families.

Stress in the workplace is not going to get easier for many nurses, especially those at the bedside.  Now is the time to put your health needs first.

And you can start by giving yourself a little TLC on your days off.

Helpful nurse burnout prevention products to help manage nursing stress:

These are items I have personally tried, either at work during a 12-hour shift or at home.  Using some of these nurse burnout relief products during and after a 12-hour shift has made a world of difference in how I feel.  I hope these items help you de-stress and take better care of yourself as well.

#1.  Body Back Buddy Self Massager

Body Back Buddy Back Massager, with Poster, Handheld Massage Stick, Trigger Point Massager, Massage Cane (Blue)

 

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How sore are your back, neck, and feet after a busy 12-hour shift?  The Body Back Buddy is a big winner when it comes to loosening up during and after a busy shift.

I was introduced to the Body Back Buddy by a co-worker of mine in the emergency department where I work.  He brought it to work with him as a way to help him loosen his muscles during his night shifts.  At first glance, it looks a little silly, but when he showed me how to use it, I couldn’t believe how great it felt on my neck and back.

It didn’t take long for other nurses to ask if they could use it, mostly out of curiosity.  But it did help loosen up my neck and back and felt amazing on my pressure points.

I liked it so much that I ordered one that day and have been using it at home several times a week ever since.  This is a fantastic product for long- term nurse burnout prevention.

Here are a few features of this self-massage and trigger tool:

  • Full-body self-massager for simple, fast relief 
  • Calm painful muscle knots and aches in your back, neck, shoulders, and more with a few easy moves
  • Effective pressure point therapy eases tension headaches and sore muscles & helps athletes (and nurses!) recover
  • Single-piece rigid construction – very durable

#2.  Cordless Neck Shoulder Back Massager with Heat

Cordless Neck Shoulder Back Massager with Heat, Deep Tissue 3D Kneading Shiatsu Full Body Massager for Neck Back Shoulder Waist Foot Muscle Pain Relief, Best Gifts for Women/Men/Mom/Dad

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During National Nurses Week in 2019, I tried this cordless neck, shoulder, and back massager during my lunch break in the staff room.  I liked it because it stays around the muscles you put it on and doesn’t move around like many self massagers.  It also isn’t very loud and applies just the right amount of pressure to the muscles.

This device is excellent to use during breaks or after a shift at the hospital.  It also doesn’t require much effort to use, which makes it uniquely relaxing.  And it is cordless so that you can use it anywhere.

Here are a few features of the cordless neck, shoulder and back massager with heat:

  • Cordless & hands-free design:  equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 100 minutes on a full charge.  
  • Advanced heating: The infrared heat provides necessary warmness to ease muscle tension, stress, and promote blood circulation.  It can be turned off manually, but will also shut itself off after 15 minutes of using (to prevent overheating).
  • Full-body relaxation and pain relief:  comes with eight big nodes and eight small nodes, which provides deep tissue massages on your neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, waist, foot, tights, calves, legs, feet and arms 
  • Adjustable intensity and two massage directions:   The massagers for neck and back cordless have three adjustable intensity levels, which allow you to get suitable pressure to relieve your muscle pain.   And the body massager has built-in bi-directional movement control, which also auto-reverses every minute
  • One year product warranty guarantee

 

#3. Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband, BlackMuse: The Brain Sensing Headband, Black

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Meditation has changed my life for the better, especially as a stressed-out nurse.  Before I started meditating regularly, I used to have semi-regular anxiety attacks!

The Muse Brain Sending Headband is for someone ready to take their meditation practice to the next level.  If you do not already practice meditation, I wouldn’t even recommend purchasing this device.  (However, if you want to find a helpful way to find stress relief as a nurse I do highly recommend developing your meditation practice).

Many studies have shown benefits from regular meditation, including reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, increased focus and energy, and improved performance in many areas.  And, as nurses, we can use all the stress reduction we can get!

Here is how it works:  The headband fits across the front of your forehead and wraps around your ears.  A metal strip can detect electrical brainwaves. When specific brainwaves are very active, the weather noise increases. As you calm your mind, the weather noise grows fainter and — here is the genius of the device — if you are very calm for several seconds, you can hear birds chirping.   In the end, you get a graph of your performance and a score.

Here are a few features of the Muse Brain Sensing Headband:

  • Makes meditation easy– is like a personal meditation assistant 
  • Muse will guide you to a calm mind:  Sometimes your mind is calm, and sometimes it’s active – Muse will teach you to recognize a quiet mind and help you get there
  • Allows you to immerse yourself in meditation: Put on the Muse headband, plug in your earbuds or headphones, start the app, and close your eyes. Immerse yourself within the sounds of a beach or rain forest
  • Real-time tracking and feedback: While you meditate, Muse measures whether your mind is calm or active, and translates that data into weathers sounds
  • You can review data after each session: After each session, review your data, set goals, and build an enriching meditation practice that gets better every time
  • Comes with a travel safe case
  • What is included: Muse: Brain Sensing Headband, Quick Start Guide, USB Recharge Cable (Earbuds NOT Included)
  • Limited 1-year warranty

 

#4.  Huggaroo Microwavable Neck And Shoulder Wrap

Huggaroo Microwavable Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders Pain Relief, Stress Relief, Back Pain Relief, Migraine Relief, Headache Relief, Anxiety Relief, Cramps | Reusable Heat Pad/Cooling Neck Wrap

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Like many other nurses, I carry most of my internalized stress in my neck and shoulders. This, combined with too much computer work and lifting and pulling patients, often leaves my neck in knots, and sometimes the pain keeps me from being able to relax completely.

For the longest time, I used a regular old heating pad on my neck and back- but the one I had didn’t conform well to my body.  So one day, I was looking through Amazon for something to help my neck and back pain, and I came across the Huggaroo.

The design is versatile; if I don’t want it on my back, I fold it up, so it’s concentrated on my neck, and I also like to put in on my chest, almost like a weighted blanket.  The quality is excellent, and the fabric is plush but durable. It’s a frequently used staple in our house. I also take it with me when I travel as well!

Here are a few features of the Huggaro Microwavable Heating Pad:

  • Delivers deep, penetrating, moist heat wherever applied
  • Melts away pain, tension, and stress with heat, soothing aromatherapy, and deep pressure stimulation
  • The perfect heating pad for cramps, neck pain relief or joint pain relief
  • Use as a cold compress to alleviate migraine headaches or a cold pack to soothe strains or a fever
  • Huggaroo is a market leader, featured in Forbes, Women’s Health, Inc, Parade, Reader’s Digest, etc.

In conclusion

Nurse burnout prevention is possible and we need to manage our stress better, so we don’t end up as patients ourselves.   By setting aside a little time every day to relax and de-stress, you will be a happier, healthier nurse and better role model for patients.

After all, everybody wins when nurses are taken care of too!!

Additional recommended reading: