New Graduate Nurse Work Essentials

June 26, 2018

I am one of those people who think they need to refresh their arsenal of supplies anytime they get a new job. I don't think I could ever have enough paper good supplies, badge reels, or scrubs! It's a borderline problem...but I love it! 

Now I haven't gotten a new job, but when I first got hired for my job you can bet I went out and shopped. I might have gotten a few too many novelty items that I just do not use anymore. In order to help prevent you from wasting your money...I've narrowed everything down for your absolute must-haves!

Here is the list I came up with...let me know what you think should be added!

Bag | First and foremost, you are going to need something to carry your items to and from work. In the past, I have used a wide range of bags and while they all have been fine, I have just been loving backpacks. They can easily carry items for work and for me to hit the gym after work or a change of clothes for an ice cream date. This one is from Koi and has cushioned back straps and a top handle strap. Plus a multitude of pockets: Two pouch pockets in front, additional zippered front pocket, two side pockets, and three interior pockets.

Whitecoat Clipboard | I have mentioned this clipboard before in a post here. It is a great way to easily keep your report sheets together but also maintain privacy. Plus it has some handy references on the back. Make sure to get yours engraved as well! 

Multicolor Pen | I am sure this is no surprise, but I love the BIC multicolor pen. You can buy them at any office supply store, target, or Amazon. They are just perfect for being able to color code your report sheets.

Stethoscope | This is an obvious essential, but you do not need to go out and buy a new one. I rotate between using a Littmann and an Erka stethoscope at work. I am not in a field where I need to be able to hear murmurs or anything very specialized so both work great for me. I created a post here about how to pick the perfect stethoscope. 

Bandage Scissors | This essential is up for debate. A lot of the seasoned nurses do not carry them in their pockets because we are a Medical Oncology floor and not triaging patients. However, I use them frequently to open Miralax containers or Fentanyl patches. I will, however, grab disposable ones to use for dressing changes. This fun design one is also from Koi. They have a ton of neat designs here. 

Badge Reel | Badge reels are not only important to identify who you are, but they can also display your personality! Go ahead and get yourself a funky one to show off who you are! This Kelloggs Tony the Tiger is from Koi. 

Cheat Sheets | The thing about being a new nurse is that you will not know a lot of things in the beginning. Nurses who have been there for awhile know the ins and outs of their floor specific procedures and policies. They also may have created or committed to memory disease process and nursing implications for frequent diagnosis that they see. Set yourself apart by taking the time to learn things about your unit and create a little booklet with quick references. These are from NRSNG with quick references for lab values, Med/Surg, OB, Peds, Cardiac, and Neuro. 

Lotion | Last but not least, make sure you are taking some hygiene products with you to work. Think chapsticks and lotions! Find a good nourishing hand lotion that will help save your hands from drying out after multiple washes. 

What else would you include as a nurses' work essential?

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