You’ve done it! Cap and gown, diploma, everything. You’re the freshest nursing school grad on the block, licensed and all, and you’re ready to hit the hospital or clinic floor running.
Maybe this is actually you or maybe you’re in the throes of fall semester and you’re manifesting this dream. But either way, you’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to talk about the fun stuff: SHOPPING.
There’s a lot you need to start your first nursing gig. Scrubs are a given, but here are five other essentials you don’t want to forget about before your first day.
#1: Comfortable shoes
Especially for new nurses, this one is an essential. Working those 10 hour shifts on your feet is a great time to discover that your favorite comfy shoes are maybe not as reliable as you thought. Not to worry though, there some are brands of kicks that have held tried and true for nurses and they have a lot of cute options.
Nursemates sells tennis shoes, slip-ons and clogs that are custom designed to keep you standing for hours on end. They also come in dozens of cute designs, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Seriously, some of these are so cute, you’ll have no problem wearing them to the bar at the end of your shift.
Naturalizer is another brand that’s affordable, stylish and designed to be walked in all day long. They come recommended by podiatrists for having a sole that supports your heels and the balls of your feet, while also coming in several different width sizes and keeping you cool on the outside. And they’re cute! There’s lots of options on their website. But you can also buy them for a little cheaper on Amazon.
Another shoe that comes recommended by podiatrists is the Nike Tanjun Sneaker. These are a classic style that won’t get scuffed up easily and are roomy and comfy all day long. You really just can’t go wrong with the right sneakers.
No matter how good the brand is, being on your feet all day long will wear out the soles on any shoe you buy. So to take care of your feet, make sure you stock up on a couple different shoes to wear throughout the week. And also feel prepared to restock on your fave sneaks about twice a year. Here’s a good guide to knowing when it’s time to replace your shoes.
#2: A watch
This is an easy one to forget about, but essential. A watch that indicates seconds is crucial for patient care. Whether you’re monitoring vitals or injecting medication, you need to know you can count the seconds. Scrubs and beyond sells watches specifically for nurses. So does Speidel — theirs are a little more expensive, but really cute.
#3: A good stethoscope
Are you actually a nurse if you don’t have a stethoscope hanging around your neck? You might already have a few of these from your clinicals and classes, but it’s good to start fresh on your first real job. High quality stethoscopes can last your whole career. Reliable brands like Littman can be expensive, but worth your while. In fact, this might be a good thing to have on your register of graduation presents if you haven’t had your big day yet.
These little reference cards carrying helpful tips about anatomy, pharmacology, heart rhythms, lab orders and more, will be a life saver for you your first couple of weeks on the job. ScrubCheats sells pocket-sized cheat sheets in packets of 150 and more. Wade through them and pick the essentials to carry around with you so you can double check yourself.
#5: A Badge Reel
The one thing you should really avoid doing in your first week (aside from killing anyone) is losing your hospital or clinic badge. It’s not a good look to need a replacement early on, but as hectic as your first week will likely be, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Sure, your clinic or hospital might give you a basic badge reel to keep on your person, but if you come prepared with one you like, you might be more likely to notice if it’s suddenly gone. Plus the hospital ones are cheap.
There are a ton of fun options out there, but here are a few we love.
Boojee Beads has a ton of fun options from pretty brooches, to funny designs to very classic and chic reels.
Uniform advantage also sells some sweet reels, and cute lanyards too!
And of course, if you’re looking for something artistic or quirky, Etsy shops will always be around to fill your shopping needs. Here are a few of our favorite reels on Etsy:
This sunflower reel you can personalize with your name or “RN” (*crying emoji* so cute).
These rose floral reels are adorable and cheap.