Nurses’ Essential Tools to Bring to Work as a New Grad

NursingJune 06, 2023

Congrats, grad! You’ve completed your education and passed your licensure exam, so now it’s time to begin your first position a nurse.   
Working as a nurse requires a few nursing tools that people in other fields wouldn’t even think about. But before you invest, check with your employer to find out what they provide or expect you to provide. Don’t worry about tooling up for every contingency – start small and add to your arsenal as you refine your needs. Here are some suggestions for nursing tools. 

  1. A good bag or daypack. It doesn’t need to be big or fancy, but something to carry your gear, lunch, and water bottle is useful. 
  2. Scrubs with pockets. Some hospitals provide scrubs, while others expect you to buy them yourself. Check your workplace’s policy and then budget for scrubs as necessary, maybe a couple of sets. 
  3. Good shoes. You’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet, so comfortable, reliable shoes are a must-have. Compression socks might also become your new normal. Find out what your colleagues say. 
  4. High-quality stethoscope. Most hospitals require you to provide your own, and it’s worth investing in one that fits you well and will last. Look for one with good ear buds and good tubing that accurately picks up audio. 
  5. Medical-grade scissors. Nurses rely on scissors to open packaging, cut tape or gauze, and other tasks. When you need them, you need them.
  6. Hemostat. This is a scissor-shaped tool designed to clamp. Another thing you don’t want to have to hunt around for when you need it. 
  7. Small notebook. Useful for tracking information and taking notes. 
  8. Pens and a mini-Sharpie. Nurses write things down all the time and love their favorite pen. Make sure you have a few. You may need a Sharpie now and again too, and it’s much easier to have one at the ready. 
  9. Pen light. Nurses need pen lights to examine throats, ears, noses, and wounds. 
  10. Clipboard. This is one of those things that might be provided, but if it’s not good quality, it’s worth investing in your own. Having a firm surface to write on when you’re on the move is useful. 

Other things you may want to carry with you for your own use include: Tylenol, snacks that don’t need refrigeration, a leak-proof water bottle, and a toothbrush for when you need a refresh. You can also ask other more seasoned nurses what kinds of tools they recommend you bring to work. You’ll learn soon enough which items are must-haves and which ones you can skip.

If you’re considering a career as a nurse, Fortis can help. Click here for more information or call Fortis today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career advisors.