Essentials you will need as a student nurse

Here’s my personally top essentials you will need on your student nurse journey at university and in your placements. I also did a vlog on these tips which you can find here: Essentials needed as a student nurse If I have missed anything out or you would like any other information or advice please feel free to ask away or let me know 🙂 Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 15.51.27

  • Stationary

Grab yourself some A4 notepads, lined paper (whichever size you prefer) and pens. I prefer to write in different colours and highlighters. Anything as colourful as possible to stand out and stick in my mind to aid my learning. Either way, you are going to need lots of paper and pens to write notes during lessons and lectures. Expensive ones, do not really matter. Go cheap and cheerful! Save money. Some students prefer to record their lecture using a dictaphone or a voice app, however, always ask permission from the lecturer before doing so.

Flash cards: These have helped me revise so much! You can get them really cheap on ebay too. Mine were £2.99 for a pack of 100 with free posting.

  • Comfy shoes

You will definitely need these for your placements.

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Image from Clarks website: Clarks website (2018)

12 hour shifts are so much better when your feet are looked after. Go get yourself some all black, leather shoes that cover the whole foot. I got mine from Clark’s and they are called ‘Un loop’. If you go in store and online they are £65 BUT if you go to your nearest factory outlet of Clark’s they are a bargain price of £45! Well worth every penny too. Comfiest pair of shoes I have ever worn, they feel like you’re wearing trainers.


  • Books

I have a huge stack of books at home. Books that I have barely looked at… I personally learn better from getting on a laptop or computer and watching YouTube videos, physiology websites like Khan Academy website and  Khan Academy (YouTube) that has little exercises on them to practice. But if you really want an anatomy and physiology book then the Ross and Wilson – Anatomy and Physiology book is one of the best (most student nurses have this one). Also there is an anatomy and physiology colouring workbook you can find online (amazon and eBay) that is fantastic and really helps you to remember various parts.

The MAIN book I have revisted time and time again in the BNF! Grab yourself one of those FREE from any pharmacy. Go in and tell them you are a student nurse and can you have any old BNF’s they may have. This is your bible! It’s a book of every medication you are going to need as a student nurse and qualified. If you take nothing from this blog, take away this haha. Also a really good book is Medicines and Drugs BMA, very simple to understand and has the action of drugs inside too 🙂

Another book to look for is ‘The student nurse’s guide to successful reflection’

reflection book
Reflection guide by Nicola Clarke

by Nicola Clarke. As a nurse you will have to complete a reflection piece every year as part of your revalidation so find yourself a great reflection book. I prefer this one as it is simple and easy to use with extra activities inside to complete to aid with understanding.



  • Manual blood pressure set. Really cheap from amazon!
    Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 15.03.25
    BP set (image from amazon 2018)

    You do not need an expensive set.  It is the best thing I ever bought. Depending on what university you go to, depends whether you will learn this skill. I know at my university Birmingham City University; it is the first exam you will do. You need to know how to do a manual blood pressure reading and personally, I prefer doing it this way anyway. Grab yourself one of these and practice on all of your family and friends until you perfect it.

If you really want to pay extra for a decent stethoscope (looks beautiful but not really essential). Have a look at the Littmann stethoscopes. I have a beautiful pink one and it’s fantastic. Mine was actually a lovely birthday present a year ago form my partner ☺️ Get it on your present list if you want it haha.


Fob watch. On your placement you will need a fob watch.

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Fob watch

You can get these online, again, really cheap! Get one of the ones that has the silicone / rubber case around it as they are the preferred ones to use. Easy to clean and do not harbour bacteria.


You will also need a little pocket notepad to document everything inside as you go along on the wards.

As a student nurse you will get such dry hands from all the hand washing! Find yourself a really good hand cream / hand scrub. I love LUSH personally. I have a salted coconut hand scrub which is amazing and the coconut hand cream to follow. Hemp hand cream is also good but find one that is not too greasy. If you have dermatitis or eczema you can take along your own hand wash / cream to use on the wards. Just let your mentor know.

The Happy Planner Company

This company are fantastic. I have the student nurse pack from them which includes; Week to view planner, reflection journal, ‘nursing is a work of heart’

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Image from Happy Planner website

bag and lanyard, week to view notepad and milestone cards. Not essential for your student nurse training but it is fantatsic and I wish I had these from the start of my journey. Nice as a little present for someone you know who is a student nurse or they have ones for qualified nurses too. Have a look at my vlog; I show you whats inside them all.



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