Checklist: Must-Have Supplies for New Nursing Students

LVN School CDI Sign in front

Congratulations on taking the next step in your career! It took you months to complete all those applications for your LVN program in California, apply for financial and, and make your final selection for a nursing school. Here you are, ready to start, and you probably have some questions about what supplies you’ll need for day one. We asked a bunch of our experienced grads for their top recommendations on the must-haves for your first day.  

Supportive Shoes For Nursing

It’s not just that nurses stand and walk for hours and hours on end. As a nurse, you’ll also be standing and walking on very hard concrete and tile floors. Invest in shoes that have plenty of arch support, cushion, and are even labeled professional-grade for nurses and healthcare professionals. Your feet, back, knees, ankles, and hips will thank you.


This is your new uniform. There are more styles now than ever, but make sure that you get a few different sets so you’re not constantly doing laundry. You’ll want enough room in the pants so you can bend over and move without having to make constant adjustments. Oh, and pockets. Lots of pockets. You’ll need plenty of pockets.

A Heavy-Duty Backpack

Those textbooks and notes aren’t going to carry themselves. You may even want to consider an upgrade to a backpack with wheels. It’s going to be with you every day, and if you get one you like, it can even transition to become your work bag.

A Professional Stethoscope

How do you know a doctor is in the room? Because you’ll hear the words, “Can I borrow your stethoscope.” In all seriousness, though, this is a device that you’ll start using on day one and for years to come. Get a good one with enough sensitivity so you can hear through layers of clothing. It’s going to be around your neck for years. (PRO TIP: DO NOT let that doctor walk out of the exam room with your stethoscope around their neck, or it’ll be the last time you see it.)

Hand Sanitizer

While most hospitals and clinics have plenty of hand sanitizing stations, it’s still always a good idea as a nursing student to keep plenty with you. You never know what kind of clinical environment you’ll find yourself in, and you’ll be making hand-to-hand contact with all kinds of patients. Sanitizer is cheap and small bottles fit easily in those pockets of your new scrubs. You’ll be happy you have it.

Sharpies, Highlighter Pens, Colored Post-It Notes

You know your study and organizational habits better than anyone, but you’re going to be doing a lot of reading and studying in your LVN program. Be prepared with any kind of color-coding, note-taking, bookmarking, highlighting system that you need to help you prepare for exams, memorize the vast physiology and medical terminology you’ll be learning, and make quick and easy reference to, well, all of that.

A Water-Resistant Watch

Second hand. You will need a watch with a second hand for taking quick pulses, blood pressure, and more. It seems old-fashioned, but sometimes an analog watch helps you keep track of medication schedules, shift breaks, and, let’s face it, what time of day it really is outside.

Any more questions about what our nursing students need as soon as they arrive on campus? That’s what we’re here for. Contact us at any time by email or phone at 310-559-0225 and we will address any and all of your concerns.


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